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Full text of "The city plan of Flint, Michigan, including the reports of John Nolen, city planner, and Bion J. Arnold, transportation engineer, as approved by the City planning board and accepted by the Common council. George C. Kellar, mayor. Frank D. King, city clerk"

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Cornell University Library 
NAC 6827 .F6N7 

3 1924 024 415 642 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



the reports of 

City Planner 


Transportation Engineer 

as approved by 


and accepted by 




Published by 





,. ■ L L 


of Flint, Michigan 








GEO. C. KELLAR, Chairman 
ARTHUR POUND, Secretary 

J. DALLAS DORT, Vice-Chairman 



Table of Contents 

Frontispiece — General Plan. 

4. Preface. 

5. Map — Lower Michigan. 

6. John Nolen. 

7. Introduction to Nolen Report. 

8. Principal Recommendations City Plan. 

9. Principal Recommendations Transporta- 
tion Plan. 

55. Civic Center Layout — Exhibit. 

56. Distinctive Settings for Public Buildings. 

57. Community Building Projected. 

58. School Playgrounds. 

59. School Playgrounds Map — Exhibit 

60. New High School and Technical College. 

61. Same Projected; Oak Grove Views. 

62. Zoning. 

63. Zone Map— Exhibit 

64. Zoning. 


10. Growth of Population — Exhibit 1. 

11. Curve of Population — Exhibit 2. 

12. Factory Workers and Payroll — Exhibit 3. 

13. Curve Factory Employment — Exhibit 4. 

14. Contours. 

15. Contour Map — Exhibit 5. 

16. Existing Conditions — 1917. 

17. Existing Conditions Map^Exhibit 6. 

18. Public Utilities. 

19. Public Utilities Map— Exhibit 7. 

20. Railroad and Industrial Properties. 

21. Railroad and Industrial Properties Map — 
Exhibit 8. 

22. Building Distribution. 

23. Building Distribution Map— Exhibit 9. 

24. Range in Land Values. 

25. Range in Land Values Map — Exhibit 10. 

26. Distribution of Population. 

27. Distribution of Population Map — Exhibit 

28. Public Properties. 

29. Public Properties Map— Exhibit 12. 

30. Growth of City Area. 

31. Growth of City Area Map— Exhibit 13. 

32. Flooded Area. 

33. Flooded Area Map— Exhibit 14. 


34. General Plan. 

35. General Plan Map; see also Frontispiece. 

36. Main Thoroughfares. 

37. Main Thoroughfares Map— Exhibit 16. 

38. Main Thoroughfares (cont'd). 

39. Street Widths and Sections— Exhibit 17. 

40. Detail Plan — Center of City. 

41. Detail Plan— Center of City Map. 
42-45. Parks and Parkways. 

42-43. Parks and Parkways Map in colors. 

46. Park Circuit Drives — Exhibit 19. 

47. Park Circuit Drives. 

48-49. Park Scenes from Other Cities. 

50. Swimming Pools in Flint Parks. 

51. A Pool's Progress. 

52. Flint's New Park Areas. 

53. Winter Scenes in the New Parks. 

54. Civic Center. 


65. Streets — DuPont Development. 

66. Housing. 

67. Types of Houses Flint Needs. 


Bion J. Arnold, 
superimposed on General 

68. Sketch— Col. 

Arnold Plan 


69-70. Letter of Transmittal. 
71-73. Conclusions and Recommendations — 


74. Railroad Track Development. 

75. Diagram — R. R. Track Development. 

76. Indices of Growth of City and Forecast. 

77. Diagram — Arnold Exhibit 4. 

78. Railroad and Vehicle Traffic at Saginaw 

79. Diagram — Arnold Exhibit 6. 

80. Condensed Profiles — Grand Trunk and 
Pere Marquette Diagrams, Arnold Exhibits 
16, 17 and 9. 

81. Typical Track Layout; East Side Indus- 
trial District. 

82. Typical Factory Development East Side 
Industrial District. 

83. Diagram: Arnold Exhibit 11. 

84. Chevrolet Cut-Off, G. T. -P.M. Inter- 
change; Industrial Development Thread 
Creek Bottoms. 

Diagrams: Arnold Exhibits 12, 14B, 15. 

85. Second Street Viaduct and Grade Separa- 

86. Track Plan; Proposed Union Station. 
Diagrams: Arnold Exhibits C-21, C-22, 

87. G. T. and P. M. elevations; Union Station 

88. Ultimate Transit Plans. 

89. Diagram: Arnold Exhibit 29. 

90. Photographs: Court St. Viaduct, etc. 

91. Miscellaneous Photographs. 
92-93. Park and Field Houses. 

94. A Page of Pleasant Streets. 

95. Conclusion. 

96. Index. 


March 7, 1917, the people of FKnt, by an affirmative vote of 4008 out of 5618 ballots cast, 
created the City Planning Board by approving the following charter amendment submitted by the 
Common Council: 

The People of the State of Michigan and the people of the 
City of Flint enact: 

Section 1. That an act entitled, "An act to incorporate 
the city of Flint and to repeal all acts and parts inconsis- 
tent herewith, approved March 21, 1901, as amended, be 
and the same is hereby amended by adding a new chapter 
thereto, to be known as Chapter XXXI, to read as follows: 

Chapter XXXI. Section 1. There shall be a city plan- 
ning board of fom' members, consisting of the mayor and 
three citizen members appointed by the mayor and con- 
firmed by the council, who shall be chosen because of their 
knowledge of city planning. That on the first day of May, 
the mayor shall nominate for confirmation by the council, 
one member of such city planning board for the term of two 
years, one member for the term of four years, and one mem- 
ber for the term of four years, all members of the board to 
hold office until their successors are elected and qualified. 
It shall be the duty of the board to keep itself informed of 
the progress of city plemning in this and other countries, to 
make recommendations for the improvement of the plan of 
the city, with a view to the present and future movement 
of traffic, the convenience, amenity, health, recreation, gen- 
eral welfare and other needs of the city dependent upon 
city planning, to consider and report upon the plan of all 
new pubUc ways, parks and streets, opening and vacating 
and closing of streets, lanes and pubUc places, the design of 
pubUc buildings, bridges and other structures, the approval 
of all plats and subdivisions and of all other pubhc improve- 
ments in the city of Flint,and to plan the laying out of 
streets within all territory located within a dis- 
tance of not more than three miles from the city limits, and 
to recommend to officials authorized to accept the dedica- 
tion of streets and to approve plats within such territory 
adjacent to the city, plans conforming to the city streets. 

Section 2. All acts of the council, the board of water 
commissioners, the park board or any other board of the 
city government affecting the city plan, shall be submitted 
to the city planning board for reports and recommenda- 
tions. The council, the board of water commissioners, the 
park board and other boards of the city may at any time 
call upon the city planning board to report with recom- 
mendations, and the city planning board of its own volition 
may also report to the common council the recommenda- 

tions of any matter which in the opinion of either body 
affects the plan of the city and the construction and ex- 
tension of any public improvements. 

Any matter referred by the council or any of the city 
boards may be acted upon by such board within thirty 
days of reference, unless a longer or shorter period is 
specified. No action by the council or any city board, in- 
volving any public work or improvement mentioned, shall 
be legal or binding until it has been referred to the city 
planning board and until the recommendations of such 
board have been accepted or rejected by the council or 
board having jurisdiction thereof. 

Section 3. The city planning board shall submit to the 
council an annual report summarizing the activities of the 
board for the fiscal year, the recommendations made by 
and to the council and boards and the action of the council 
and boards in reference thereto during the year, or any and 
all recommendations made by the board in that or former 
years. The annual report of the board shall also contciin 
a program of improvements on the city plan year by year 
during the next three years ensuing, with estimates of the 
cost thereof and recommendations as tohowthe cost shall 
be met. 

Section 4. The mayor shall appoint as secretary of the 
city planning board a competent person, and in addition 
to his duties as secretary of the said board he shall also act 
as secretary to the mayor. He may with the consent of 
the common council employ city planning experts as need 
may arise. The city engineer shall also serve as engineer 
of the city planning board, and it shall be his particular 
duty to bring all the engineering works of the city into 
harmony as part of one comprehensive plan. The execu- 
tive officers of the board of health, board of water commis- 
ioners, park board and all city boards shall advise the city 
planning board from time to time of any municipal im- 
provements within the scope of their respective boards 
which in their opinion would improve the healthfulness, 
convenience and general welfare of the city. The city 
planning board shall have the power to call upon any 
branch of the city government for information and advice 
which, in the opinion of the board, will insure the effici- 
ency of its work. 

Two months later Mayor Kellar appointed the present members to carry out the broad 
provisions of the foregoing amendment. The City Planning Board inherited at the outset the 
valuable results of work on city planning done by a joint committee of aldermen and citizens 
composed of F. R. Armstrong, Otto M. Ramlow and John W. Colhns, aldermen, and J.D. Dort, Rev. 
J. B. Pengelly and Geo. W. Cook. This committee, under authority of the council and at public 
expense, engaged Mr. John Nolen of Cambridge, Mass., to draw up a City Plan for Flint, and 
also engaged Bion J. Arnold, transportation engineer, to co-operate with Mr. Nolen in producing 
a comprehensive transportation plan. These studies were submitted to the council, and duly ap- 
proved by that body. Various changes and extensions of the plan have been made in the meantime 
as a result of the city's rapid growth. The plan is put forward now, not as a solution of all our 
civic ills, but rather as a broad program to which future development may conform in general 
and as a platform of correct basic principles to govern city growth. 

The City Planning Board herewith presents the Nolen report in full, and a summary of the 
Arnold report, for the enlightenment of the public of Flint. Here is the groundwork plan for the 
Fhnt of the future. Maps, blueprints, diagrams and other details are available to the public at 
the Mayor's office. City Hall, and will be explained by the Secretary upon call. We bespeak for 
this volume earnest reading and study, and for the Flint plan your public-spirited interest. 


John Nolen City Planner- 


^U^Af No 3^ 

The Principal General Recommendations of the 

City Plan 

1. The establishment of a business district for Fhnt, from Chfford to Church 


2. The creation of a permanent centraUy located open space around which the 
public buildings of the city can be grouped to the best advantage. 

3. The location and construction of a new union station at the head of Harrison 


4. The abolition of grade crossings within the city limits. 

5. The development and use of an adequate industrial district on the east 
side of the city. 

6. The acquisition for park purposes of all land along the ponds, rivers and 

7. The redemption for park purposes of properties now occupied by dwellings 
situated on low land unsuitable for housing purposes. 

8. The acquisition of large parks in each important section of the city — for 
example, Burton Woods, Deming, Graham and Pierson Parks. 

9. The establishment of local parks for intensive use. 

10. The establishment of an aviation field at Dewey Woods. 

11. The reclamation and improvement, as a recreation area, of the hollow from 
Fifth to Eighth Street east of Clifford Street. 

12. Enlargement of any present school sites that are now inadequate. 

13. The continuation of the present program of providing adequate sites for all 
future schools. 

14. Adoption of a program for carrying out plans for the street thoroughfare 

15. The widening of thoroughfares recommended, or provision for widening by 
the establishment of building lines. 

16. The construction of the more important street extensions: — for example; 
Eighth Street to East Court Street; Industrial Avenue to North Saginaw Street, 
and Stockdale Road to Flushing Road. 

17. Construction of new bridges at Clifford Street, Wood Street, Leith Street, 
Stewart Avenue, below Wilcox Street and below Third Street. 

18. The completion of the system of Circuit Park Drives by suitable street im- 
provements and planting. 


Principal Recommendations on Transportation Plan 

(From Arnold Report) 

1. Encourage further service and co-operation from all available railroads, both 
steam and electric, in the vicinity of Flint, to conserve existing and future investment 
and to secure additional quota of automobile rolling stock. 

2. Existing railroad facilities need expansion more in yards, interchange and 
belt hne facihties, than in new main line . 

3. Present industrial sites are, for the most part, unreasonably cramped, 
especially along railroad main lines, and require expansion, and to some extent re- 
location in other districts. 

4. Abatement of railroad switching and interchange through the central business 

5. Freight classification switching operations should be done outside of the 
settled district. 

6. Adoption of FHnt Belt Line plan on a basis of strictly impartial terminal 
service and charges. 

7. Immediate construction of the Pere Marquette cut-off as the first element 
of the Flint Belt Line service. 

8. Ultimate extension of Belt Line Service to the principal industrial districts 
of Flint — North, South and East Side. 

9. Reconstruction of Thread Creek Bottoms for an enlarged freight terminal, 
especially for team track and warehouse facilities, together with proposed cut-off 
Chevrolet district. 

10. Second St. viaduct and grade separation in connection with development of 
Thread Creek Bottoms and the Transit Plan. 

11. Temporary use of Grand Trunk East Side yard along Burton St., for a holding 
yard only, with ultimate transfer to Belsay. 

12. Arrange for future Union Station project on present Grand Trunk site, with 
extension of Clifford St. across the river and redemption of lower St. John St. as a 

13. Encourage new entrance for Michigan Electric Railway connecting with 
Owosso and the West. 

14. Union electric terminal for all electric passenger and freight in the vicinity of 
Third Ave. and the Athletic Park. 

15. Ultimate set-back of city freight terminals further from Saginaw St., espec- 
ially for team tracks. 

16. Work out various grade separations both for the immediate future and 

17. Create parallel by-pass streets on both sides of South Saginaw St. 
expansion of business district and avoid undue concentration of car lines and traffic in 
Saginaw St. 

18. Ultimately, remove interurban lines from South Saginaw St., after the dis- 
position of the Sixth St. depression has been decided upon. 

19. Establish where practical local prepay car loading berths at large factory 
entrances, to increase the efficiency and decrease the present delay in rush hour 

20. Establish a basic Transit Plan for future development, incorporating main 
radial lines, crosstown lines and through routes as a component part of the City Plan, 
capable of unlimited extension and encouraging the expansion of the business district. 

21. Empower an official Commision or Board to deal with City and Transporta- 
tion Plans concurrently and on its own initiative. 

PART I. Civic Survey 


The growth of population in Fhnt is graphically represented to 1916 by the 
simple diagram shown below as Exhibit No. 1. This gives the government census 
figures for the three decades 1890 to 1910 and the figure estimated in Fhnt for 1916; 

as follows:- ^ggg 9,803 

1900 13,103 

1910 38,550 

1916 79,373 

The general opinion in Flint at the present time sets the January 1, 1920, popula- 
tion figure at 100,000 for the entire area soon to be included within the city limits. 
The 1916 figure seemed at the time to be rather high but events have since proven it 
to have been conservative. The fourfold increase in population in the last ten years 
is a remarkable record for any city to make and one that causes a sense of pride if one 
only looks to size as an indication of success, but it is also a record that carries with it 
the serious charge to meet the new conditions and to give to Flint a name that stands 
for more than mere bigness. 

In the coming year, 1920, U. S. Government census will be taken and the results 
then obtained will give an accurate basis for comparison and prediction. 

An interesting comparison of the growth of a city in area with its growth 
in population can be made by referring to Exhibit No. 13. 

NOTE. Within the old limits the 1920 population is given by the Census Bureau as 91,499. Within the new 
limits the population was estimated as 103,845, on May 1, 1920. 



I goo 





7 9,373 


The following diagram is submitted representing the Curve of Population from 
1890 to about 1922 based on the figures given under the Growth of Population. The 
surprising increase in the population in the last five years is not common growth and 
cannot be used as a sure basis for predicting the future. With the new demands of 
peace it is safe however to predict that the automobile industry will continue to 
expand and with it will come a continued growth for Flint. If the present trend 
is taken as a true indication the 150,000 mark would be reached by 1922 at the latest, 
and 200,000 before 1925, but other factors are bound to come into play and in these 
times of general transition and adjustment it is unwise to judge from the past con- 
ditions. The only sure conclusion is that the growth of Flint is still on the upward 
swing and with an open field before it. 


City or flint 


Curve 9/" Population 


Growth of Factory Pay Roll 

Particularly significant as evidence of the substantial character of Flint's pros- 
perity are the facts shown in the diagram illustrating the Growth of the Factory Pay 
Roll. The actual figures are: 



. 4,964,000 

.. 8,745,000 

. . 18,540,000 

1920 estimated 42,000,000 

The big jump shown by the 1920 figure is not alone to an increase in the number 
of employees, but also to the new scale of wages and the new standard of money, so 
that in any comparison these new conditions should be taken into consideration. 

This growth in the pay-roll, however, means a greater purchasing power and an 
increase in the number of purchasers which in turn means more and better stores, 
more places of amusement, more homes, and results in more tradesmen, clerks and 
artisans; an ever increasing circle of growth in the population of the city, due to pros- 









Monthly Record of Factory Workers 

The diagram recording the number of factory workers covers the period by 
months from 1908 to 1917. The curve is fairly regular in 1908, but very irregular 
from that year until 1916, particularly in the year 1910. On the other hand, the 
curve for the years 1916 and 1917 is steady and regular throughout the year, showing 
sound industrial conditions. In January 1920 there were 29,981 persons employed 
in the Flint industries. The monthly average for the year was 25,953. 

The steady increase in the number of factory workers is always another and 
hopeful indication of the growth of the city as a whole and an index of its prosperity. 

An industrial city depends upon the conditions at the factories for its well being. 
Heavy fluctuation in the number of persons employed produces unsettled conditions 
and a shifting population which makes permanent planning a difficult problem. It is 
only with settled conditions that men are encouraged to make permanent store en- 
largements, build new homes and plan new developments. 



runM906To 1917 

JAN ttb VM m m m jvly m ^m oct hoy vie 








Contour Map 

The city of Flint is divided into two parts by the Fhnt River. The western half 
lies within the large bend of the river and gradually rises from the valley approximate- 
ly 100 feet to a ridge that runs north and south just east of Detroit street, reaching an 
elevation just over 800 feet. West of this ridge is a rolling prairie with very slight 
differences of elevation. The only marked natural feature in this section is the 
Devil's Lake and its outlet just beyond the city limits to the northwest. 

The eastern half of the city is quite different and more varied in character being 
cut by four good sized creeks: Kearsley Creek to the north, then Gilkey, Thread and 
Swcirtz Creeks to the south. Between these stream valleys the land rises as on the 
other side of the river but only to about elevation 750 or fifty feet under that of the 
west side ridge. 

East of Western Road is a broad level prairie now used for farming but offering 
an excellent site for industrial development. The east side creeks with Thread Lake^ 
the one large body of water near Flint, form a wonderful basis for a park system. 
This valley land is not suitable for homes and should be taken over by the city to 
prevent unhealthful, dangerous, or at least undesirable living conditions. 


John Nolen • Clty Pi,ANNtB 



Existing Conditions Map 

The base map for the Civic Survey is thte city map of Flint, with information 
compiled to form a basis for the proposed city plan. As the legend or note on the 
diagram indicates, the information shown graphically on the map is as follows: 

Existing Streets and Alleys 

Car Lines 

Railroad Properties and Main Lines 

Industrial Properties 

Existing Parks and Playgrounds 

Existing School Grounds 

Other Public and Semi-Public Properties 

Public and Semi-Public Buildings 

As a definite basis for future planning, one of the first steps is the collection, and 
so far as possible the graphic presentation of the existing facts as regards the topogra- 
phy of the city, the location and distribution of streets, public utilities, railroads, 
factories, parks, playgrounds, schools, public buildings, and other government 

The existing conditions are continually changing even in a city that appears to 
stand still while with a city like Flint data collected today is out of date in a month. 
The City Plan Commission should hereafter make up at least annually a set of survey 
maps which taken consecutively would show clearly not only the conditions at any 
one time but also the trend, volume and rate of growth. 

Since the original survey was made in 1917 many new developments have taken 
place both through private initiative and by official action. 

New property has been laid out and developed, the building £uea covered by 
pubhc utilities has been greatly extended, and the big proposed industrial district to 
the east of the city is already under way. 

The city has acquired various parcels of land for building and storage purposes, 
the park properties have been extended by purchase and gift, and the school board 
has already acquired within the present city limits school grounds equivalent to the 
proposals originally made in the prehminary plans for the city. The purchase of 
Dewey Woods and the gift of the Whaley property are two moves of great advantage 
to the future city. 

City of Flint 

Gen£5ee County 



Conditions M^^vp 


/nformcifiojti corupIIcK/ 
to fomi beis'is /'or ci^ 


Car Zines aamm 

Jitau-s'trufi firoper- 

Sxi.Uia^^ Prrrky a nr/ 

Ofti^rJhtblic and •Sonti 

Piiiftic Proper- 

t/ies' BBS® 

\Pubtic <3Zta Semi- P^i'Iic 


John Nolen City Pi.annkr 


Public Utilities 

The Public Utility diagram shows street car lines, permanent pavements, and 
areas supplied with water and sewer service. 

The work of pushing on the sewer, water and paving improvements to keep pace 
with the rapid building up of the residential districts has fallen upon the Engineering 
Department which is meeting the situation as fast as possible. The work is being 
done by the city and under the supervision of the City Engineer. 

A comparison of the Public Utilities diagram with the present Building Distribu- 
tion map will show how much of the built up area was furnished with the public 
utilities in 1917. The districts out East Court, Fenton and Flushing Roads are the 
nearest areas to the center of the city, not yet fully supplied with water, pavement 
and sewer. The installation of these utilities here would immediately develop three 
new, good class residential districts within easy distance of the center. 

A comparison of the diagram showing Public Utihties with that showing Range 
in Land Values will make clear at once the close interrelation between values on the 
one hand and pavements, sewer and car lines on the other. 

The recommendations with regard to the extension and improvement of electric 
car transportation, both urban and interurban, as well as changes in the railroads, 
have been made to the city by Mr. Bion J. Arnold of Chicago, whose services have 
been especially engaged for that purpose. 

It must be borne in mind in studying the Public Utihties maps that the informa- 
tion is not now up-to-date having been collected three years previous. The exten- 
sion of water and sewer mains is an absolute necessity in building up new territory 
in a satisfactory manner. Road improvements and car lines should be extended as 
fast as possible but are not of such vital importance. The city has made great 
progress in the matter of supplying utihties and any record of these activities would 
necessarily change considerably from month to month. 


Railroad and Industrial Properties 

The railroad and industrial growth of Flint is of comparatively recent date, 
beginning with the great commercial expansion of the automobile business which 
took place about 1900, and which, as far as Flint was concerned, meant the expansion 
and conversion of the existing carriage business. The raihoad lines laid out years 
ago crowded down the valleys to what was then the Village of Flint, and probably 
httle dreamed of what they would, before many years passed, be called upon to 
carry. The result is a congested, cramped condition of right-of-way, yards and 
shipping facilities, and an unsightly and dangerous condition of grade crossings. 

To relieve the congestion, a temporary yard was constructed off Kearsley Street 
along Burton Street, and it is now considered a nuisance, and is detrimental to some 
of the best residential property in Flint. Again to relieve congestion, the Grand 
Trunk Railway built some years ago a freight detour to reduce mileage and prevent 
the delay involved in handling cars through the city. This is a great help, but was 
too narrow in its conception for the best interests of Flint, for it should have been 
run farther out beyond the Thread Lake section. 

The raihoad problem is very closely connected with the industrial welfare and 
hence the prosperity of the city, so that the early solution of the freight handling 
problem and the construction of the necessary freight detours and yards will be a 
material benefit to all. The development of the east side industrial district, on 
which work has aheady been started, with its railroad facihties will do much to 
relieve the congestion within the city and improve the entire railroad situation. 

The existing railroad conditions have been thoroughly investigated by Mr. Bion 
J. Arnold. 


John Noi.en ■ Crn PiANweji 



Building Distribution 

The diagram of Building distribution shows the extent of the following uses of 
land within the City of Flint in 1917. 

1. Railroad Properties 

2. Industrial Properties 

3. Business properties with retail and wholesale differentiated 

4. Park and open areas 

5. Built up areas 

This diagram is one of the most important foundations for the plan showing pro- 
posed building zones, with which it should be compared. 

The present industrial development in Flint is confined to the valleys along the 
raihoad right-of-ways. The largest single plant is the Buick to the north, and be- 
tween there and the Chevrolet Motor Company to the south are most of the 
smaller concerns. There is httle available land for factory expansion but the new 
industrial district will solve this problem. 

The wholesale business, of course, follows the railroad and seeks locations central 
to the city area. There is plenty of opportunity to expand the wholesale business in 
connection with the present sites. The main group of retail business stores centers 
between First and Second Streets on Saginaw Street. There are a considerable num- 
ber of stores scattered along both South and North Saginaw Streets and also at 
important points near the Buick works as at Leith Street and Industrial Avenue. 
Another small center near the Chevrolet works has been established on Kearsley 
Street at Glenwood Avenue. These business areas are the basis for determining the 
business districts on the proposed Zoning Plan. The built up residential area in and 
about Flint covers considerable ground largely because of the loose, disconnected, 
wasteful building developments. It would be possible to house a city half again as 
big on this larger EU"ea and not have over crowded conditions. 

There is very little land within the city limits not now at least partly built up 
except to the east and northwest. In spite of the present high cost of materials and 
labor there is considerable building going on in Flint, forced by the demands of in- 
dustry and the absolute necessity for housing. This growth is again reflected in 
new stores and office buildings, and the general prosperity, in the new modern hotel. 
Building operations on a large scale are being carried out by the General Motors 
Company upon land already beyond the present city boundary. This building up of 
property now beyond the city hmits is a condition common also north and south of 
the city. 

NOTE- --Building permits were granted during, 1920 for $12,711,011.22, divided as follows: New construction, 
$11,694,861.22: Repairs, $1,016,180.00. 

There were under construction on Jan. 1, 1920, 1563 houses, 100 duplex flats, 1 apartment building. 3100 factory 
employes were unable to find homes for their families in Flint. On Jan. 1, 1920, there were 98 familicsjiving in tents, 
and 651 families tar paper shacks, of which 40 were erecting homes. 


City of Flint 

GENE5EE County 



fbri & O/x-n A/vas mi iLK 

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■ Kxistiw^ .Urnr/i rind 

n^ilroad Proprr/ms 
und Main /.irmi ^^ 
Intfu-rfriat Pro/)/- r- t 

E.x^l'.rHntj Ptirh'S- t/ nrf \ 

JCxtsftiit^ Jc/iofj/ ■ \ 

Crottntls- BSB . 

Of/ter Public ind •U'mi [ 


/>ej ran 

Public and Sonn -Public 

^uiffif'n^s W I 
Cemeteries 9BK \ | 

— -^^ elMJ 

I John \i)i[s <m l-'iAN'^tH 


Range in Land Values 

The Diagram of Land Values shows approximate locations of various zones 
figured on the front foot basis as follows : 


Under . 


4. $100 





5. $500 




7. Over . . . 

6. $1000 - 

■ $2000 

These values are based on figures supphed in 1917 by the Assessors' office, but 
not taken directly from the assessment fists. The chart is of use in connection with 
practicaUy every feature of city planning. It applies directly to the selection of 
parks and other pubfic property, to the estabfishment of proposed building zones, 
and to the distribution of various types of homes. 

The highest values, namely over $2,000 per front foot, are confined to four 
blocks, and the next highest are confined to two blocks. The high priced real 
estate then radiates from the center, following the business properties along the main 
streets, and including the adjacent residential property soon to be converted to 
business use. Land for this purpose ranges from $1,000 down to $50. 

The great bulk of the residential area faUs within the first and second classes, 
ranging in value from under $25 to $50 per front foot. By comparing the Range in 
Land Values diagram with the Public Utilities diagram, it will be observed that this 
residential area coincides very closely with the area supplied with water and sewer 
service. Outside of the public service zone the values drop to $25 or under. A con- 
siderable part of this land is still to be had at relatively low cost within two miles of 
the center of the city, and if given pubfic utilities, it could be developed for low cost 

Various improvements that are recommended in the city planning report for 
Ffint, especially the opening up of the main streets, the development of the car 
system, the extension of car lines and the development of public utilities, will lead to 
an increase in land values in most cases much beyond the cost of these desirable im- 
provements. Furthermore, the tendency of the adoption of a well considered zone 
system will be not only to stabilize land values, but also to increase them. 

The rapid change in values that has come about in the last three years has of 
course greatly altered the 1917 figures, and has affected all parts of the city. The 
boundaries of the zones have however probably changed but little, the values within 
having in each case simply moved to the higher class. 

The present unsettled conditions in financial circles have upset many of our 
estabfished ideas as to values, and this is particularly true in land values. Rents 
have risen abnormally and as a result improved land has sold at a much higher 
figure especially where the demand was imperative, but as a rule assessments have 
not as yet been changed to meet the new schedule of prices. To finance the increased 
cost of government and construction, cities will be obliged either to raise their assess- 
ments to approximate more closely the present condition or rely on an increased tax 
rate. The general increase in value of taxable property will of course be only tempor- 
ary relief as it in turn will demand steady expenditures in the near future. 

NOTE— The total assessed valuation of the city in 1919 was $104,253,227.00. 


Car /:/far „™«, 

Rtnlroad firoprrr/t*. 

/ntfufrnat Prop ter- 

OroYtnds gSZ 

Offfor Piiij/K aati Somi 

Ptihttr Proper- 

Cfirre fortes 


uOHN NoLEN ■ (. IT^ Pi VNlslLR ^', 

HaIJVARI) -SmiAPE • ("AMhIlllHilv Ma-SS. ',W 

> A n — s. ' 


Distribution of Population 

The diagram of the Distribution of Population shows the relative density of 
Population based on actual count conducted in 1917. One dot represents ten persons 
of the population. 

At the present time a new count is being carried on by the telephone company 
to determine the present location of the population. This new information will 
be of great value in planning out public improvement and will form an interesting 
basis of comparison with the original diagram to show the present direction of growth*. 

Diagrams of this sort are of value in connection with street planning, the best 
distribution of schools, playgrounds, parks, etc., also to some extent in fixing the 
locations of the proposed building zones. 

Flint is now practically free from the three-decker or other multiple dwelhng, 
and the tenement row type of building which produces the congested, over-populat- 
ed city district and excessive land values in low grade residential property. By 
legislative oversight Flint can keep under control all such development. 

The following is a memorandum extracted from the INational Real Estate 
Journal, January, 1918, concerning Michigan's new housing code. It bears directly 
upon the problem of the distribution of population in Flint. 

It "regulates the construction of houses, the proximity to other dwellings, the 
size of lots and rooms." 

It "applies to all towns of more than 10,000 population, and based upon sanitary 
grounds, is intended to protect one property owner from encroachments upon his 
rights by others." 

"Private dwellings and two-family dwellings hereafter erected, one-story or 
two stories in height and having a side yard which does not exceed sixty feet in 
length, the width of the side yard measured to the side lot line shall be three feet^ 
such side yards shall be increased in width one foot for each additional story above 
the second, and shall be further increased in width by one foot for every ten feet or 
fraction thereof that the length of the side yard is in excess of sixty feet. Dwellings 
fronting on the same street and on a portion of a lot or plot without side lines of 
record shall be built having a space twice the width required above between them." 

"The law requires that ceihngs in houses must be eight fert six inches from the 
floor; garages may be attached to houses, but otherwise they must be fifteen feet 
from the rear hne of the house or in case the house is two stories high the garages 
must be twenty feet back; no rooms except bath rooms and kitchenettes may contain 
less than eighty square feet in floor area; and chickens cannot be kept on the same 
lot with a dwelling except under conditions laid down by the health officer." 

This law went into elfect August 10th, 1917. 

*AccordiDg to a count recently made by the American Telegraph and Telephone Co. the most densely populated 
districts in Flint are as follows: 

District Persons per acre 

69 — Between Beach and Saginaw, W. Court to the river 96.3 

5 — Between Garland and Saginaw, Bridge to W. 3rd Ave 76.1 

2 — Between Industrial and Saginaw, Corneha to Harriet 56.5 

54 — Between Industrial and Saginaw, Harriet to McClellan 48.9 

24r — Between CUfford and Saginaw, river and E. 2nd St 43.8 

17 — Between W. Court and Flint river, Glenwood to Thread Creek 40.3 


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City of Flint 

GENE5EE County 








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conducted in i^Jt- One 
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John Nolen • City Pi vnnmj 
Harvard ^gUAPK ■ CAMniiiiKiE M vvi. 



Public Properties 

The key to the Pubhc Properties Map shows: 

Park Lands 

School Grounds 

Other Pubhc Lands 

In addition, important semi-pubKc properties are named on the map. 

One of the striking things to note in connection with this diagram is the fact 
that with the exception of Kearsley Park, there was in 1917 no city owned pubUc 
property which was larger than forty acres. The Michigan School for the Deaf, 
owned by the State, is a considerably larger area, and some of the semi- pubhc proper- 
ties also. It should also be observed that in the section to the northwest, which is 
being more rapidly developed than any other section, there was no public property, 
arid no definite plan for the acquisition of the necessary public areas. Since the 
survey was made the city has acquired the Dewey Woods property containing ap- 
proximately 120 acres recommended in the preliminary report and has thus assured 
to this section the much needed large open park area. 

The school board has also made considerable progress in acquiring new and 
adequate school grounds, the most extensive purchase being the 50 acre Oak 
Grove Sanitarium property which is to be used for the new high school, trades and 
technical school. 

It will be noted that with the exception of a few short stretches, river banks, 
creeks and ponds are not under pubhc ownership or control. These waterways con- 
stitute the only interesting topographical features in the entire section and should be 
carefully guarded against influences that despoil or exploit there present opportun- 
ities. Some steps have already been made to improve these conditions and in the 
near futtire it is hoped that a real beginning will be made toward the ownership and 
control of these areas. 

Large open properties are always difficult to obtain near the heart of the city, 
and as the city expands they become more remote and so increasingly less accessible 
and effective. This condition should be a serious warning and an incentive for 
prompt action. 




City of Flint 

GENE5EE County 




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John Noun (.'in Pi \nnhj "■; 

I IaDVA W I) .N(i,L I A PI' t'AMMi H >Jili__M ^^ ^; lis) ; 



Growth of City Area 

The diagram entitled the Growth of City Area shows the additions by city 
ordinance to the original Village of Flint established in 1835. 

One hundred years ago, that is in 1819, the first settlement was made on land 
now included within the city hmits of Fhnt. From this small beginning there has 
grown steadily but with increasing speed the present prosperous city. 

The Village of Fhnt estabhshed in 1835 extended approximately three blocks in 
width from the Flint River south nearly to east Court Street and covered the property 
from Saginaw to Harrison Streets an area of approximately 54.4 acres. 

The principal additions were in 1897 and 1910, with minor additions in 1901, the 
boundaries of each being shown on the diagram submitted. 

The present boundaries established in 1910, when Fhnt had a population of 
only 38,550, were apparently somewhat arbitrarily determined, not following closely 
topographical or street lines. They should be extended to include those immediately 
surrounding areas which are now being built up and occupied by the people of Flint, 
and which should be therefore included in the legal city area. 

It is true of cities generally that there is a lack of logical extension of city bound- 
aries — that is, the fixing of limits according to topographical features or main through 
streets. There is usually also an inadequate extension. The result is that the 
areas surrounding the city are built up under county conditions and county regula- 
tions without control by the city, and afterward become incorporated into the city 
by the necessary extension of the city limits. 

City planning, to be effective in the future, must rely upon new laws, giving 
cities greater authority in the extension of city boundaries and the encouragement 
of city governments in taking action earher, before the surrounding areas are laid 
out, developed and occupied. 

During the last year plans have been made for an extension of the city boundaries 
during 1920. If this plan carries through it wiU give to the city a total area much 
nearer the standard of other American cities of an equal population and will include 
within the hmits the greater part of the people dependent upon and interested in the 
activities of Fhnt. For the purposes of sewer and water design the Engineering 
Department has already gone much further afield, and has looked forward to the area 
that it will probably be necessary to serve with utihties in 1950. 

The proposed 1920 City Limits line is shown on the General Plan used in the 
front of this report. 

NOTE-The 1919 liraits contained 8020 acres, the 1920 18,600 acres: the ultimate limits estinmated as of 1950 
include 41,342 acres. 


I'l^ |'\ ' .luMN \<>I!N till l*i\NNIK' 

U 1 .J I i I \l.'\ \I!'I> Vjl \l,'l I' \--II\i.'!n.,l "^1 \S\ 


Flooded Area 

The diagram for Flooded Areas shows the low lands which were covered by 
water during the high flood of 1916. 

In civic surveys and city planning studies more and more emphasis is being 
given to the importance of having all these areas in or near cities that are subject to 
flood owned and controlled by public authorities. This action is designed primarily 
for the safety of the community in providing adequately and economically for the 
drainage problems of the area. It is fortunate that under sound and comprehensive 
city planning, these are usually the areas best adapted for natural parks and park- 
ways, and they should not be used for building purposes, but unfortunately, they are 
often the areas which are built up for the cheapest housing or industrial development. 

Other diagrams submitted, especially those dealing with the zoning of the city 
and the proposed park system, show the relation of the areas in the flooded district 
to a constructive city planning programme. 

The disastrous experience of a few years back, from the point of view of both 
money and life, is an indication of the vital importance of this subject. Flint has al- 
ready had a warning of what might happen to the city through neglect of this subject. 


John Nolen ■ City Planner j [I 

Harvard ^gtiAPE • Cam6hidge "Mass. jfaj 


Part II. Planning Studies 

The plans for Flint are based upon the facts and tendencies revealed by the local survey and 
certain fundamental principles of design. These principles are: 

1. To conform as far as possible to the topographical conditions. 

2. To use locations for what they are naturally best adapted. 

3. To conserve, to develop and to utilize all the natural resources of the city. 

4. To aim to secure attractiveness by organic planning rather than by mere embellishment 
or adornment. 

Cities, generally speaking, owe their existence to geographical location and the efforts of out- 
standing individuals. Such individuality as they possess is due largely to topography. The chief 
topographical characteristics determining the location and development of cities are the sea, rivers, 
hills and plains. It has taken decades of urban development and of costly mistakes to impress upon 
the cities of the United States the necessity of respecting and conserving their natural features, to 
which they owe not only their form, but even their very life. 

Comprehensive planning for cities includes not only the physical features, but also the social, 
economic, financial and legal aspects. While these planning studies for Flint cover only the physical 
features they have been made with due regard to the other aspects. 

The requirements of the physical features themselves differ essentially from each other. For 
example, the considerations governing the parks and parkways differ from those of streets, streets 
from those of pubhc buildings, public buildings from those of zoning, etc. While the best solution 
for each feature must be sought diligently, that solution must also consider the effect upon the other 
features. Good planning must always retain both viewpoints — the requirements of each separate 
feature, be it park, street or public building, and on the other hand, the total requirements of a well 
balanced general city plan. Thus it is necessary, in judging the planning studies of main thorough- 
fares, parks and parkways, park circuit drives, or a civic center, that such judgment should always 
be with regard to the individual merit and effect upon other related features of the city plan. 

The General Plan for FHnt presents the city planning proposals for street and park systems, 
public building sites, and other city planning features. The plans and recommendations with regard 
to the various divisions of the subject are given on the succeeding pages under the following headings: 
Main Thoroughfares Park Circuit Drives School Playgrounds 

Street Widths Civic Center Zoning 

Parks and Parkways 

Each of these subjects has been closely studied on repeated visits to the ground in consultation 
with the local city officials, in order that the plans submitted might be definite and the recommenda- 
tions specific. Each topic is fundamental to good city planning, and upon each in some real sense 
the prosperity or welfare or happiness of the people depends. The standards consciously adopted 
for Flint are high, because of the conviction that in the long run high standards in city planning pa^^. 

City planning can no longer be confined to a consideration of streets, public buildings, schools, 
zoning, etc. A vital factor is the homes and the neighborhood surroundings of the people. Recrea- 
tion is important. An unquestioned authority in this field has written, "Only in the modern city 
have men concluded that it is no longer necessary for the municipality to provide for the insatiable 
desire for play. In so far as they have acted upon this conclusion, they have entered upon a most 
difficult and dangerous experiment; and this at the very moment when the city has become dis- 
tinctly industrial, and daily labor is continually more monotonous and subdivided. We forget how 
new the modern city is, and how short the span of time in which we have assumed that we can 
eliminate public provision for recreation." But even recreation is overshadowed in importance in 
some respects just now by the difficult and far reaching subject of housing. Acting publicly we do 
little except to pass building laws or regulations which are so far below wholesome requirements 
that even real estate developers seeking only profit are apt to do a little better than the law requires. 
The essentials of better housing are cheap and suitable land protected by zoning, broad planning 
of the neighborhood, with streets, stores, schools and local recreation, wholesale modern building 
operations, and a limitation of the dividend on the necessary investment of capital. In some 
thoroughgoing way we must convert the great forces which now produce bad housing, to produce 
good housing. We must do this by bringing into cooperation with them the community forces 
that believe in good housing and will gain from it. These are mainly the manufacturing and busi- 
ness interests that depend upon the efficient and happy workman. A great change in housing will 
come from the substitution of the reasonable profits of business for exploitation and excessive 
return, from the transfer of housing from the field of speculation to that of legitimate manufacturing. 
Then we shall proceed in much the same way that the manufacturer proceeds. We shall gather 
facts as to the nature and extent of the demand for houses, we shall adopt definite aims as to the 
produce, we shall employ skill and experience and factory methods, and we shall back the housing 
erterprises with adequate capital. While Flint, in common with other industrial enterprises, 
suffers from shacks and other forms of bad housing, the present big movement for better planning 
in Flint includes several good sized and meritorious examples of modern housing, worked out in 
relation* to city planning. 



Main Thoroughfares 

One ot the most important features in the city plan and one that directly affects the con- 
venience of every inhabitant of the city, is the system of circulation and communication, for upon 
this system rests the whole question of the economic distribution of supphes and the easy and 
direct movement of the people as they go to and from their daily work or seek recreation and pleasure. 

This system of main thoroughfares is the framework that co-ordinates all the other city plan- 
ning features and included in its lines are all those streets that are not local in their service, but 
which are used by persons of other neighborhoods in getting from one objective to another. 

Flint, like many American cities, has a fairly well located system of radial streets making 
possible direct connections with all the outlying places of importance, but it is almost entirely 
lacking in any system that carries one conveniently and continuously about the city from one 
section to another. 

Two of the most important automobile routes of Michigan pass through Flint and one other 
leads south from FUnt to Toledo. The Dixie Highway connecting Detroit and Mackinaw through 
Flint comes in from the south over South Saginaw Street and proceeds over North Saginaw Street 
to Bay City and the city of Saginaw. The Central Michigan Pike connects Port Huron and Grand 
Haven, thus crossing the center of the state from lake to lake. This route comes into Flint from 
the east over Lapeer Road and goes west over Corunna Road. The third line, known as the Lima- 
Ann Arbor-Flint Trail, runs out of Flint to the south over Fenton Road and is the direct route to 
Ann Arbor and Toledo. 


The center of the city is laid out on an irregular rectangular plan and meets the business needs 
well enough, although some streets should be widened and improved and extensions made to fit 
these arteries for the more important part they will some day play in the larger Flint. Saginaw 
Street is the most important thoroughfare and the chief business street. As the city grows, more 
and more traffic will find its way along this line, causing congestion and the resulting delays unless 
it is reheved by parallel streets. Business will cease to hold to the one street idea and a true district 
will build up, bringing additional importance to Harrison street, which leads directly to the proposed 
railroad station, and to Beach Street which connects by bridge with the west side. 

The reheving through streets for Saginaw Street, however, will be Clifford Street to the east, 
and Church Street to the west. Clifford Street should be built up across the hollow between Fifth 
and Eighth Streets and extended south by relocating Pine Street to Lippincott Boulevard, and north 
across the river to Industrial Avenue extended and to North Saginaw Street. Church Street 
should be extended south to Saginaw Road and would thus divert much of the traffic from the south 
now reaching Saginaw Street by way of Saginaw Road and Deming Road. Both Clifford and Church 
Streets would draw from a territory now served by Saginaw Street and would thus greatly relieve 
the congestion. This would be especially true of the Clifford Street Bridge, which, by bringing 
the Industrial Avenue and some of the North Saginaw Street traffic into the city by this route, would 
relieve the Detroit-Saginaw Street bridge. Both Church and Chfford Streets should be widened 
their entire length to 80 feet. Of the cross streets, Kearsley, Second, Court and Eighth Streets 
are the important ones in the business part of the city. Eighth Street should be extended both east 
and west to complete a new cross connection from Fenton Road to East Court Road. 


North of the center the street system has been determined by section lines and the main streets 
are pretty definitely located, the chief needs being to see that the present system is carried to com- 
pletion, and that several minor links are connected through. In the outlying district the intro- 
duction of a few diagonals will help shorten distances and make circulation more complete. 

To perfect the system of north and south streets the following more important extensions are 
shown :~ 

McCreery Road north on the half-section line between Jennings and Clio to Coldwater Road 

CUo Road south from Pierson Road to Stockton Road 

Fleming Road north from Pierson Road to Devil's Lake Parkway 

Stockdale Road extension north to Pierson Road and its diagonal connection to Carpenter 
Road and beyond 

Detroit Street double extension north from Pierson Road and back to the single roadway 
beyond Carpenter Road 

Selby Street north from Carpenter Road 

Lewis Road and the next half section road east, north from Carpenter Road 

Western Road north to connect with Bray Road at Carpenter Road 

Center Street extension north and south to connect with existing streets beyond 

Diagonal parallel with the railroad from McGrew Station to Coldwater Road 

Diagonal extension of Fox Road to Center Road and back to Coldwater Road 

St. Johns Street north to Lewis Road 

The east and west extensions proposed to complete the street system north of the center are 
as follows :~ 


' Pluiv At 97 


Bray Avenue west to Bray Boad r t ■ 

Diagonal from Pierson and Clio Roads northwest through the intersection ot Jennings and 

Carpenter Road 

Russell Avenue west to Kelly Road i i^i- 

Horton Road on the half section line between Coldwater and Carpenter Roads from the thnt 
River to and beyond Jennings Road 

Coldwater extension east to the Upriver Parkway 

Russell Avenue extensions and connections east 

Pierson Road to Clark Road and beyond 

Fhnt Park Boulevard connection with Bray Boad, and Black Avenue diagonal connection to 
the angle in Bichfield Boad 


East of the city comparatively few changes are necessary, the original section roads carrying 
traffic through the proposed Industrial District. _ 

Thom Street should be extended diagonally to Western Road at its intersection with Burton 

Road , r T^ • 

Burton Boad new proposed extension east from Western Road on section line north of Davi- 
son Road 

Franklin Avenue should be extended south to Claremont Avenue and then south again connect- 
ing with Burr Boulevard and its proposed extension to Thread Creek Parkway 

Sunnyside Avenue extended east along the railroad to Western Boad 

Diagonal cut-off from Western Boad to Atherton Boad 

New north and south road east of railroad in the Industrial District connecting Fox Boad 
with Center Road 

Hemphill Road extension east to beyond Center Road 

New Road parallehng Pere Marquette cut-off north from Thread Creek Parkway. 


The country south of the city is at first quite broken, and then flattens out into more level 
country, but is complicated by railroad locations, making the street system quite irregular. 

Diagonal parallehng Pere Marquette Railroad from Fenton Boad to Western Road 

Deming Road extension south through Deming Park 

Diagonals parallehng the Grand Trunk Raihoad from Fenton Boad to South Parkway and 
from Atherton Boad to Bristol Boad 

Torrey Road extension parallel with the railroad to Atherton Road 

Half section streets between Fenton and Van Slyke Roads and Van Slyke and Torrey 
Roads • 

Jennings Road extension south from Corunna Road 

Durant Street diagonal southeast to the intersection of Fenton and Atherton Roads 

Bradley Avenue diagonal to Van Slyke Boad 

Hemphill Boad on proposed 1920 City Limits west to Torrey Road 

Rosedale Avenue connection with Torrey Road 

Corunna Road diagonal connection with West Court Street 


The southern half of this area is similar in character to the country south of the city and a 
considerable amount of property is undeveloped, so that well considered new street locations should 
be easy to estabhsh. The northern half is much more regular and for the most part the half section 
streets should be developed. 

New half section street west from Chicago Boulevard between Lennon and Corunna Boads. 

Bosedale Avenue extension north to Beecher Road 

Thayer Road connecting diagonally Flushing Road with Corunna Road 

Graham Boad extension north to Beecher Boad and diagonally across the river to Thornton 
Avenue extension 

Brownell Boulevard extension south to Flint Biver Parkway 

Stockdale Boad south to the angle in Flushing Boad 

Dayton Street west to Mackin Boad 

Jennings Boad south to the same intersection and then to Flushing Boad 

Copeman Avenue diagonally northwest to Potter Road 

Pitts Boulevard diagonally northwest to corner of Bray and McCreery Boads 

Copeman Avenue diagonally northwest to Potter Road 

In addition to these principal street extensions and connections there are many changes in 
alignment, short connections, traffic squares, etc., that have been shown, especially in the older 
parts of the city and which should be carefully studied in detail and although minor in character, 
are necessary to insure the proper flow of traffic in and about the city. 

Supplementing the traffic streets, the parkways are shown as part of the thoroughfare system. 
These hnes will in the future greatly relieve the congestion on some of the traffic routes by providing 
a more pleasant and quicker means of communication for automobiles and pleasure vehicles. 


With the changes and additions named above and shown on the plan, properly carried through, 
Flint would have a system of main thoroughfares that would serve equally and conveniently all 
parts of the larger city and one that would form a well-balanced framework upon which to build 
up the minor streets and blocks. 

NOTE — Mr. Nolen later gave his approval to the proposed opening of North street south to the Avon street bridge- 
head on St. John street, at which point it falls nearly into Une with the East street extended. 

Street Widths 

M/NOR ■Street 

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J* ' i — /f ' — \ go ' • 

Main Street 

Through Street 

It is important that street widths should be fixed more intelligently and discriminatingly. At 
the present time an average of 20 per cent to 40 per cent of the total area of cities is devoted to streets, 
rising in the case of exceptional cities to more than 50 per cent. 

The width of main thoroughfares for Flint should be as generous as possible. As examples of 
accepted standards, it is generally agreed among those who have had to do with street planning and 
traffic conditions that a main thoroughfare should be at least 100 feet in width. Flint with the 
growing demand upon its streets for traffic, should go as far as possible toward these standards. 
Street widths should be worked out carefully for each street, considering existing private property 
lines, the most economic units for width based upon street use, and the size of vehicles and the prob- 
ably future requirements of the particular street under consideration. 

The automobile has changed traffic requirements and set new standards for width, grade and 
degree of curvature in the laying out of new streets. These conditions should be carefully studied 
and taken into account in all future street planning. There is a tendency at the present time to 
favor the automobile, and in Flint this would be a natural development. However, other factors 
enter into the question, and the rights of property owners and pedestrians should be properly safe- 
guarded. Corners of minor streets should not be given too large a radius, and speeding through 
secondary and residential streets should be discouraged and made less easy by proper planning as 
to width and alignment. 

The accompanying cut of residential street sections shows three typical street sub-divisions, 
a through street, a main residential street without car lines, and a minor or local street. These 
sections will not fit all conditions, but can be used as a guide for street widths and subdivision in 
the planning out of new property. 


Center of the City 

In a growing city the greatest changes usually take place in the so called down town district. 
As the city expands the open farm lands are easily subdivided and built up into residence sections 
and foresight enough is often used to predict the local store locations. With the center of the city, 
however, changes mean a transition in an area already fully or partly developed and occupied. Resi- 
dence sections, and in many cases the best residence sections must give way to business expansion, 
small stores to office buildings, and valuable buildings and property to form open spaces to meet 
the requirements of a larger city. The developments which met all the requirements of a city of, 
say, 30,000 population are inadequate for, say, 90,000 people. 

The first requirement in the down town district of Flint is the improvement of the main street 
itself, widening it where necessary, making the approaches convenient and adequate, improving 
the paving, and adopting regulations governing the use of the chief thoroughfare. Saginaw Street 
is adequate as far as Fifth Street but from thereon it should be widened to its full width of approxi- 
mately 100 feet as far as the proposed circle at Thread Creek. The westerly approach is of suffi- 
cient mdth and open but is very dangerous and inconvenient because of the double grade crossing 
of the railroads. This condition will be corrected in connection with the proposed grade elimination 
and Union Station scheme. The easterly approach to Saginaw Street could be improved by the 
construction of the terminal circle at Thread Creek and by the new connection with Lippincott 
Boulevard. Here also is a grade crossing on the Grand Trunk cut-off that some time should be 

To relieve congestion on Saginaw Street it is proposed to develop Clifford and Church Streets 
and widen them to 80 feet. Harrison Street and Beach Street will always be important down town 
thoroughfares paralleling Saginaw Street, especially as one leads directly to the proposed railroad 
station and the other through the proposed Civic center. However, they will both be within the 
future business district and will not act as distributing streets as will be the case with Clifford and 
Church Streets. 

The most important street change is the extension of Industrial Avenue from its present ter- 
mination to the Saginaw Street Bridge. Much of the land in this section is used for storage and a 
very low class development which is a poor ecomonic return for property situated within such a 
short distance of the center of the city. The extension of Industrial Avenue and Third Avenue 
would bring this territory into good business use. 

Another important street change is the cross connection from West Seventh Avenue to Mar- 
garet Street, thus joining MackinRoad with the East Avon Street bridgehead and then to East 
Court Street, avoiding the busy part of the city. 

Eighth Street extension west, Ann Arbor Street extension to Smith Street bridge, Stevens 
Street to Eighth, Seventh to Clifford and Sixth to Stevens would all help to improve the down town 
circulation. In addition to the street extensions, there are shown a number of minor widenings, 
new alignments at intersections and in a few cases abandonments; these are all small improve- 
ments that could be worked up as the opportunity presented itself but eventually would add to the 
smoothness of traffic movements. 

Where a city is built upon both banks of a river it is necessary, even in the case of a small river 
as at Fhnt, to have a sufficient number of bridges rightly placed to keep the entire district a single 
unit. Smith Street and South Street bridges should be rebuilt the full width of the street and new 
bridges should be built at Clifford, East and Avon Streets. The Clifford Street bridge alone would 
do much to distribute the traffic from the north and keep it from congesting Saginaw Street. > ^ 

The development of the park areas along the Flint River and Thread Creek would greatly 
improve the approaches to the center of the city and would prevent much undesirable property 
from being developed in a temporary and dangerous way. Memorial Park, Wilson Park which 
is shown extended to take in the entire block, Clifford Park and a few odd triangular green plots 
would all do much to brighten up the down town district and break up the monotony of the con- 
tinuous lines of buildings. 

There are a number of school properties in the central section of the city that will continue 
to be in use for many years to come and steps should be taken at once to make these playgrounds 
sufficiently large for their present demands. Money invested in such property would not only be 
well expended for its immediate use but would be a very valuable asset to the city when the time 
comes to abandon some of the in town school sites in favor of others more closely related to residential 

In planning the down town district the question of providing for public buildings is of great 
importance. The proposed civic center would give a wonderful opportunity for Fhnt to group its 
public buildings in such a way as to make them convenient and accessible to everybody and to give 
them a setting in keeping with their character and importance. 

Another dominant feature of the central area will be the proposed Union Station with its ap- 
proaches and plaza treatment. The present station facihties have not kept pace with the growth 
of the city and it is only a question of a few years before the Union Station will become a reality. 
A discussion of the problems involved and the details of the scheme proposed are included as a part 
of Mr. Bion J. Arnold's report. 


/=z./9/v Na 9^ 


Parks and Parkways 

There is considerable land in FKnt along the creeks and the river which is un- 
suitable for housing or factory purposes but which could be readily adapted to park 
use. Unless acquired as park property and developed as time and opportunity occur, 
this land is almost sure to become a habihty to the city. A good example of what 
can be done in converting undesirable building property into park land was recently 
furnished in Fhnt when the people under the leadership of the city engineer accom- 
plished a quick transformation at Moon Island. 

These valley lands are the most striking topographical units within the city dis- 
trict and they form the best opportunity for a continuous, natural park treatment and 
should be the dominant feature of the future park system of Fhnt. Taken together 
they form a radial park system convenient to all parts of the city, bringing the parks 
and parkways well into the more thickly built up sections. 

To the northeast we have the beginning of the parks along the Fhnt River. 
From Kearsley Creek north the Upriver Parkway extends to and beyond the Cold- 
water Road and is planned with ample width not only to preserve the river beauty 
and provide for park treatment but also to furnish recreation facihties and include a 
number of thickly wooded areas which would serve as picnic groves. From the 
bridge connecting Stewart Avenue and Richfield Road, Kearsley Creek Parkway 
extends along the stream valley to the east carrying the park treatment beyond 
Center Road. 

North of the city at the angle of Richfield Road it is very desirable to have a 
large park that will serve the thickly settled district centering about Delaware Avenue. 
The Whaley Park Property just acquired by the city together with the W. C. Lewis 
school ground and the city water works property make an admirable park opportunity 
for this area. These different units should be planned so as to co-ordinate and sup- 
plement each other in meeting the needs of the neighborhood. 

Below this park and extending down the river to Gilkey Creek the river banks 
should be developed with bordering boulevards, planting and other features to form 
the lower stretch of the Upriver Parkways. 

From Gilkey Creek south to East Avenue is another opportunity to widen out 
a bit along the river and bring into the river parkway scheme the existing Water 
Works Park on the west and the low land below the cemeteries on the east, making a 
recreation park which we have designated on the plans as Riverside Park. Crapo 
Island should most surely be acquired and be part of the park system. 

East of Richfield Road, Kearsley Park has already started the development of 
the Gilkey Creek Valley, which should be continued in parkway form to the new 
industrial district at East Court and Western Roads. The new open air swimming 
pool now practically completed will make this park very popular during the summer. 
Where East Court Road crosses the valley the parkway should be widened to permit 
the establishing of athletic fields and other special recreation features. This parkway 
will border the new High School site and tie this property into the park system. 

Through the center of the city it would be difficult to obtain land enough to make 
a continuous park treatment along the river ; however it will be possible to improve the 
banks in connection with the railroad station by well-designed retaining walls and 
bridges, and by good planting where margins of land can be acquired, to make through 
this section of the city a very attractive canal like development. 

The natural river valley development could be taken up again at Moon Island 
and extended east by Valley Park and then on up Thread and Swartz Creek valleys. 
Swartz Creek valley is particularly unspoiled now and because of its width offers 
exceptional opportunities for park and playground development. To the south the 
parkway would be supplemented and continued along the branch creek forming what 
is shown on the city plan as South Parkway. 

Thread Creek valley in its present state is a most convincing example of what 


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f^nr^ No 93 

will eventually take place along the streams and in the valleys if action is not taken 
by the city to prevent it. The development of the valley for parkway purposes 
is much more to be desired than the type of occupation now in progress. It is not 
necessary to use undesirable land for housing as there is plenty of first-class, un- 
occupied low cost residential property within easy distances of the center of the city. 

Thread Lake is the one large body of water near FHnt and it should be retained 
as a unit with a continuous park treatment on all sides, for unless the entire lake 
shore is included the beauty of any development is likely to be lost through the un- 
desirable treatment of the opposite shores, views over which the city could not con- 
trol. A beginning has been made toward the development of the lake shores at the 
present Thread Lake Park where a new open air swimming pool is soon to be com- 
pleted. The street along the west side of the lake is shown to be connected up and 
joined into a continuous park system tying into the other drives of the park system. 
To the south the park is extended along the inlet of the lake thus forming a direct 
connection with South Saginaw Street. 

The island at the angle where South Saginaw Street turns south should be ac- 
quired and developed in a formal way to produce a fitting termination for Saginaw 
Street and an impressive gateway to the main street of the city. 

Below the Chevrolet works the river valley is again unoccupied by buildings 
and presents almost unhmited possibilities for the development of a natural valley 
park. Here the Fhnt River Parkway is shown following the bottom lands along the 
river and eventually would lead to a large country reservation to the west. 

Another excellent opportunity for a natural park treatment is supplied by the 
country about Devil's Lake and along its outlet, Brent Run Creek leading to the 
north and west. Here it is practically a virgin wilderness whose unspoiled beauty, 
it is safe to say, few people realize and fewer still have seen. This pond and waterway 
have been shown developed for park purposes and have been designated as Devil's 
Lake Park and Parkway. 

The valley parks and parkways, while essential, are not enough. To supple- 
ment them it is necessary to establish local parks to serve those areas not directly 
adjacent to the waterways. These detached parks are distributed in such a manner 
that all residential areas are within a five to eight minute walk of a city park. Wher- 

Thread Lake Park — where nature mirrors beauty of leaf and tree. 


ever possible the sites chosen have been of odd shaped pieces of land less desirable for 
building or of land possessing natural woods or other attractive features. 

In the northwest quarter of the city the Park Board has just acquired the greater 
part of the large block of land surrounded by Bray and Pasadena Avenues, Stockdale 
Road and Detroit Street. Much of this area is beautifully wooded and the remainder 
practically level. Fhnt will have here a park with broad level stretches suitable for 
recreation and the gathering place of great bodies of people for civic celebrations, 
pageants, etc., and judging from the present pace of the world perhaps it isn't looking 
too far ahead to suggest that such an area might offer a suitable location for a civic 
aerodrome or at least a landing field for aeroplanes on government mail service. The 
Park Board should take immediate steps to secure the acquisition of the remainder of 
this property at the corner of Detroit Street and Stockton Road. 

West of the new civic park development two triangular parks, Dayton Park and 
Lavelle Park are shown located in such a way as to take care of the territory that 
wiU soon be developed as a result of the rapid building up of this part of the city. 

North of this district Pierson Park is shown occupying the quarter section be- 
tween Kelly and Pierson Roads, Jennings and McCreery Roads. In the future 
small local parks would have to be located throughout the section west and north- 
west of Fleming Road but the acquisition of Pierson Park would insure the one large 
open area needed to properly supply recreation and the larger park features. 

Where Carpenter Road crosses Brent Run Creek a large irregular park area 
shown as the Carpenter Park is planned to take care of the bigger park features 
needed for the section north from Pierson Road and west from North Saginaw Street. 

Two small local parks as shown at important positions in connection with the 
boulevarding of Detroit Street. These parks would make excellent sites for local 
public buildings. 

Dort School Park should be enlarged to bring the boundaries to public streets 
and thus insure control of the surrounding property. This added area will be neces- 
sary in the future as the park is located in what will be a densely populated section. 
Oak Park will also serve this same neighborhood but the combined area of the two 
will not be excessive for the section to be covered. . 

A small local common is shown at the corner of Chevrolet Avenue and Welch 
Boulevard which will be open space in connection with a store center to be established 
at this point. 

To serve the area north of Gracelawn Cemetery, North End Park has been 

Spring in Kearsley Park 


located at the corner of North Saginaw Street and Carpenter Road. Further to the 
east near McGrew Station, Horton Park is shown in the triangle formed by Horton 
Road and the two new street connections. These two parks would form the main 
areas for recreation northeast of the city but as the city grew would be supplemented 
by small local parks. 

Cutting the new diagonal from Richfield Road across the river to Rlack Avenue 
will leave a small triangular piece of property at the corner of Lewis Road and Stewart 
Avenue. This land is already owned by the city and should be developed as a small 
local park. 

On the east side of the river three detached parks are shown. Eastside Park at 
Western Road between what are really two branches of Broadway Avenue is a good 
location for a park that will have to serve the future densely built up areas adjacent 
to the industrial district. Burton Woods takes advantage of a natural wooded knoll 
that is a striking feature in the landscape. It would serve the northern half of the 
industrial district east of the factory sites in the same way that Industrial Park 
would take care of the southern half. 

Looking to the future it is suggested that three large outlying parks be estab- 
hshed to the south well beyond the present built up sections. First, HemphiU Park 
at Center Read between Hemphill and Bristol Roads is shown taking in part of the 
valley of Thread Creek. Second, Deming Park is located just south of Bristol Road 
on either side of Deming Road and covering an area practically equal to the quarter 
section. Third, Bristol Park is shown covering the quarter section southeast from 
the intersection of Torrey and Bristol Roads and containing the existing stream 
valley. These larger areas should be acquired as early as possible, because of the 
difficulty of obtaining large tracts of land intact; but the local parks which would be 
needed for this section could be located as developments take place. 

Southeast of the city between the Flint River Parkway and the Swartz Creek 
Parkway, Graham Park is shown taking in the irregular properties within the area 
east of Graham Road between Owosso and Corunna Roads. This park area would be 
supplemented by two other smaller parks, Corunna Park south from Corunna Road 
and west from Bradley Avenue, and Beecher park which is shown in connection with 
the Flint Rivei Parkway at Thayer Road. 

All these parks would be supplemented for recreational purposes by the school 
playgrounds which are located to serve this need as well as to be central to a school 



Wading Pool in Kearsley Park 

Park Circuit Drives 


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By special treatment of certain selected streets it will be possible to form park 
drive circuits making continuous pleasant ways around the city and linking up the 
park system and practically all of the detached parks. Three of these circuits have 
been planned to carry around the city and all three are connected and cross connected 
at important points. 

The outer circuit, which is located for the most part just beyond the 1920 propos- 
ed City Limits, follows Coldwater Road across the district north of the city, connect- 
ing with Center Road on the east, where for a distance of three miles it follows the 
new proposed boundary. Across the district to the south this outer Circuit Drive 
follows Bristol Road to Jennings Road, and then runs north over Jennings Road and 
Graham Road by a new connection to the Flint River, then back on Jennings Road to 
the starting point at Coldwater Road. This circuit, which would be undertaken as a 
future development, would form a drive something over twenty-five miles in length. 

The second circuit lies just beyond the present built up sections of the city, and 
would form a drive approximately 16 miles in length. Starting to the northwest at 
Devil's Lake Parkway, the route would follow Carpenter Road, coinciding with the 
1920 proposed City Limits as far as Western Road. It would then go south over 
Western Road along the proposed Industrial District to the new diagonal connection 
east of the Flint Country Club. Crossing on this diagonal the route would then fol- 
low west over Atherton Road to Van Slyke Road, then north over the new connection 
to Bradley Avenue, to Corunna Road, to Beecher Road, to the Flint River. North 
of the river the drive follows Brownell Boulevard through Civic Park and then north 
over existing streets and proposed connections to Devil's Lake Parkway. 


The third circuit drive follows very closely the present city limits. Starting at 
Dewey Woods the line of the drive would be east over Bray and Stewart Avenues to 
the new bridge across the river connecting with Richfield Road, then south over 
Richfield Road, Claremont Avenue and Burr Boulevard to Lippincott Boulevard, 
then west through the proposed center at the head of South Saginaw Street along 
park drives and proposed connections to West Court Street. Here the route would 
turn west and follow West Court Street to Durand Street, where it would again turn 
north across the Flint river and proceed through the new Durant Farm subdivision 
to the proposed extension of Stockdale Road, which would lead back to the starting 
point. Flint Park Boulevard and Black Avenue are shown as an alternative route 
from Stockdale Road to Lewis Road. 

All three circuits are cross connected north and south by South Saginaw and 
North Saginaw Streets and Detroit Street, and cross connected east and west by the 
route over Davison Road, Broadway and Hamilton Avenues, Welch Boulevard and 
Dayton Street, also by East and West Court Streets and Owosso Road. 

Beside the cross connections mentioned, the outer circuit and the second circuit 
drives are connected by the Devil's Lake Parkway, Lewis, Bray, Carpenter and 
Richfield Roads, Lippincott Boulevard, Thread Creek Parkway, Atherton, Western 
and Fenton Roads, South Parkway, Van Slyke and Torrey Road; the new quarter 
section road north of Lennon Road, Owosso, Beecher, Bray and Carpenter Roads. 
The inner and second circuit drives have additional cross connections over Lewis 
Road to the north and Fenton Road to the south, and in addition, the various boule- 
vard drives that follow the river parkways. 

In the center of the city a very short circuit of parked streets is shown, connect- 
ing the Civic Center and Clifford Street Park. This route would include Church, 
Second, Cfifford and Eighth Streets. 



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Civic Center 

In order that a city may coordinate its official activities and have some point of 
attraction in which to focus its communal hfe, it is necessary to have some form of 
civic center, some place of meeting that will fulfill the function of the market place or 
common of the past. 

It is proposed to establish such a center in Flint at Church Street between Second 
and Third Streets. This location is geographically central to the entire city, and is 
adjacent to the business district of Flint and well served now by street cars from 
Saginaw Street, and will be better served in the future by the proposed car lines on 
Church and Second Streets. 

A start has already been made in the centering of interests at this point by the 
location of the City Hall, by the block on which the High School is located, and by 
the Elks' Club and new cathedral. Moreover the city has recently acquired the land 
to the rear of the City Hall on Beach Street to provide for a future extension of the 
city building. The present high school building will very shortly be vacated for 
school purposes, and the site will then be available as a beginning of the new civic 

The scheme submitted proposes the acquisition of the next block to the south- 
west, which is very similar to the present high school site, thus forming an open park 
two blocks in extent from Beach Street to Grand Traverse Street between Second and 
Third Streets. This area would be cleared of buildings and developed with trees, 
planting, walks and other park-like features, making a central city open space. 
Benches should be freely provided, and everything possible done to make this area 
not only a beautiful place to look at, and a fine setting for public buildings, but a real 
meeting place for people from all over the city. 

Church Street has been shown widened into a paved circle where it intersects the 
park, and here would be a very appropriate place for a memorial of unique design. In 
the center of the open place would rise a shaft, which, taken with the four groups 
of statuary, would commemorate local heroes, events or ideals of the World War. 

The blocks facing these open spaces would make admirable sites for pubhc or 
semi-pubhc buildings. It is suggested that here would be located the Federal 
Building, a Community Building, and a Library and Art Museum, as well as the 
proposed new City Hall extension. 

All these buildings are of general interest, and extend a welcome to the entire 
population to come and find in this location something of value or pleasure. The 
Community Building should contain a large auditorium for pubhc gatherings, and 
should be available at all times for meetings that will promote the pubhc welfare and 
the general good. 

Of the semi-pubhc buildings, a theatre and a modern hotel would do much to 
attract people and add interest and color to the proposed center, making it as far 
as possible an index of the life of the city. 






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School Playgrounds 

The proposed new school playgrounds have been located in such a way as to 
extend the present school system by half mile intervals into the residential districts 
about to be built up and settled. Also the locations selected have taken into account 
the areas not served by local parks and these playgrounds in most cases would be 
supplementary to the park system. 

The areas shown are from 10 to 15 acres in extent and would be of ample size for 
school purposes and also as neighborhood recreation centers. The locations selected 
Eire not only central to the district served but are at points easily accessible. It is 
well to have this class of public property bounded by public roads and in some cases 
the existing grounds are shown enlarged to give not only adequate area but also to 
improve boundaries. 

The advantage of securing playgrounds in advance is well recognized and has 
already been acted upon in Flint but it should be further recognized that the city is 
growing rapidly in population, spreading out over a large area so that there is still 
opportunity to show foresight and wisdom in preparing now for a need that will be 
felt very soon. 

The school board has made numerous purchases of school properties within the 
last two years and has greatly extended the school area, practically completing the 
program laid down for the territory included within the present city limits. The next 
step will be to provide schoolground facilities for the area soon to be included within 
the city, as shown by the proposed 1920 city limits line. 

Another notable addition to the school system was the purchase of the Oak 
Grove Sanitarium property, a fifty acre tract, for a high school site and for other 
school uses. This tract is well located and offers wonderful opportunities for the 
location of buildings and the development of recreation areas and athletic fields. 

The School Playground diagram shows the half mile efficiency circles centered at 
each school and indicates at a glance the areas served by the proposed locations ; also 
those areas that are more than a half mile distant from any school. The proposed 
school ground sites have been located to cover practically the entire area that will be 
included within the city under the proposed 1920 City Limits Plan. 

NOTE — By gift and purchase the city has recently acquired the property lying between Parkland School and North 
Saginaw Street for playground purposes. 


'.A^w Ab 99 


Forest Monarchs on new High School Site 

The New High School and Technical College 

Flint's educational needs, rapidly growing with the population, have called into 
being a program of expansion designed to give the city one of the best school plants 
in the country. 

Upon the Oak Grove site of 57 acres will be located the new High School Building 
This structure will contain upwards of sixty rooms, in addition to a large modern 
gymnasium and an auditorium to seat 1500 persons. It will face the East Second 
street opening, with dimensions of 270 by 207 feet, the greater length being the north 
and south dimension. Directly back of the main building and connected with it by 
extensions around an enclosed court will be the school shops, 270 feet wide and 204 
feet deep, which depth brings the structure back to the edge of the ravine. In the 
valley east and south of the High School will be placed the athletic field, school 
gardens and facilities for other outdoor pursuits. The present plan is to use two of 
the existing buildings as dormitories for teachers, and the rest of the Oak Grove plant 
for vocational work. A grade school of twenty rooms will be erected in the future on 
the northeast corner of the property facing Kearsley street. The architects are 
Malcomson & Higginbotham of Detroit, specialists in school design. In placing the 
High School and its attendant buildings the Board of Education will retain as far as 
possible the magnificent forest trees which cover much of the tract. 

Scene in Oak Grove 

• I— I 



































































A Zone Plan has been prepared for Flint to be used as a guide in preparing the official zone 
maps that are necessary accompaniments of the zoning ordinance. A tentative outline covering 
the points to be included in such an ordinance has also been prepared and is here set forth. 

It is necessary to adopt some form of zoning ordinance if property of all classes is to be pro- 
tected from undesirable developments due to the unsympathetic building up of property in districts 
that have been dedicated by use to other purposes. The division of the city into zoning districts 
protects an owner in any rightful development he may wish to make and insures him against nuisances 
and exploitation. The zoning ordinance also tends to raise values but acts as a check in keeping 
down speculative profits, especially on land coming into new uses. 

The residential property has been grouped under two districts; the first allowing only single 
and semi-detached houses and providing for a relatively high standard of development, the second 
allowing group houses and a more closely built up area. The second districts have been located 
adjacent to the industrial developments and in transition areas between business and the first resi- 
dential district. Apartments have been considered under business districts due to the nature of 
their operation and because of their similarity to business buildings and their undesirable influence 
on residential property. Apartments are allowed in all business districts. 

The chief business district has been shown centering on Saginaw Street and extending from 
Eighth Street to Wood Street, and in width from Church to Clifford Streets and Detroit Street to 
Industrial Avenue. The main block of business is extended into the residential areas on North and 
South Saginaw Streets, Detroit Street, Industrial Avenue, Richfield Road and East Court Street. 
Minor local centers are shown scattered throughout the city at vantage points in the street system 
and at such intervals as best to serve the residence district. These areas should be capable 
of expansion as demand requires and new store centers should be allowed as the needs of the neigh - 
borhood dictate. 

Within the built up part of the city the Industrial Districts have been confined to the locations 
along the river now occupied by factory developments. All new industries and similar undertakings 
should, if possible, be located in the large tract east of the city now definitely acquired and designed 
for industrial purposes. Beyond this industrial district further to the east is an area set apart as 
an Unrestricted District in which would be allowed such developments as are not desirable in other 
industrial districts due to unusual danger, offensive odors or noise. 


To prevent a scattered, uncontrolled development of lots over large areas without water, sewer 
and other facilities, and the resulting misuse of adjacent farm lands, it would be very desirable 
if it were possible to estabhsh beyond the built up portion of the city a Garden Suburb District. 
The boundaries of this zone would recede with the growth of the city, and new areas would be taken 
in for various uses as the need arose. 

The following general restrictions should be used as a basis in drafting an ordinance to cover 
this outside district: 

Use. All land in the Garden Suburb District should be used for and all buildings erected or 
used exclusively as single family dwellings and the usual accessories located on the same lot, and 
including farm buildings and private garages containing space for not more than four automobiles. 
Churches and educational institutions may be erected and maintained in the Garden Suburb Dis- 
tricts; farming, truck gardening, nurseries, and greenhouse business may be conducted, and the 
necessary buildings be erected and maintained in this district. 

Height. No building exceeding forty-five feet in height should be erected in a Garden Suburb 
District except a wind mill, water tank, silo or other special storage structure used in connection 
with farming operations, and also as provided for towers and spires. 

Area. No dwelling should hereafter be erected in the Garden Suburb District except on a 
lot whose area is at least a quarter acre in extent, and which has no dimension less than sixty feet 
in length, nor should such dweUing be built so as to extend within twenty-five feet of the street 
line, within ten feet of either side line or thirty feet of rear line. Garages, barns and all other build- 
ings should be at least forty feet back from the street lines, and ten feet from all other lot fines, 
and at least thirty feet from a dwelhng on the same lot. All buildings unless of fireproof construction 
must have at least ten feet clear space between them. 

The following outhne of restrictions covers the points that should be included in the proposed 
zoning ordinance. 



It is proposed to divide the city of Flint into the following five districts in order to regulate 
and restrict the locations of commerce, business, industries and all buildings designed for specified 

A. First Residential District. D. Industrial District 

B. Second Residential District E. Unrestricted District 

C. Business District 

A. First Residential Districts. 

This district is to be devoted to single detached houses and semi-detached houses with the 
usual accessories located on the same lot. 

Farming, truck gardening and greenhouse business to be allowed within the district, also churches 
and educational institutions. 

No buildings are to exceed forty-five feet in height except in the case of towers and spires. 

No building shall exceed 30% of the area of the lot, nor to be erected within twenty feet 
of the street line, ten feet from either side line and thirty feet from rear line, except that a garage and 
other outbuildings may be built to within five feet of either side line and rear lines but must be 
at least forty feet from street line. 

Area of all outbuildings must not exceed 12J^% of the lot area. 

B. Second Residential Districts. 

Second Residential District is to be used exclusively for single detached houses, semi-detached 
houses, two-family houses and group houses made up of single family units with not over ten units 
in any group together with the usual accessories located on the same lot. 

Churches, clubs, hospitals, educational and other similiar institutions are to be allowed in the 
second residential district. 

Height restrictions are to be the same as for the First Residential Districts except that build- 
ings other than dweUings may be built to sixty feet in height. 

The area restrictions are also the same as in the first district except that 50% of the lot area may 
be covered by a building and the set back from the street need not be greater than fifteen feet. 

C. Business Districts. 

Buildings within the Business District may be used for the conduct of wholesale or retail business 
and other customary business enterprises, including fight manufacturing incidential to the business 
use, provided it does not occupy more than 50% of the floor area of the building or use more than 
five employees. 

Hotels, apartments and similar structures together with all uses allowed within the Second 
Residential District are allowed in the Business District. 

No Building shall exceed in height one and one-half times the width of the streets on which 
it faces except in the case of towers and spires and in no case shall a building exceed one hundred 
and twenty-five feet in height. 

A building may cover the entire lot in the Business District but light and air must be provided 
in accordance with the building code. 

D. Industrial Districts. 

Land and buildings are to be used for all trades and purposes of storage, industry, commerce 
and residence except for a specified fist of industries known to be objectionable. 

No building to exceed sixty feet in height except as provided for gas tanks, grain elevators, 
and other such industrial structures, towers and spires. 

No building or group of buildings to cover more than 75% of the plot. 

Separate buildings to be at least ten feet apart and ten feet from all interior property fines. 

E. Unrestricted Districts. 

In the unrestricted districts a building may be erected and used without restriction as to the 
nature of its use, provided the same is not prohibited by law or ordinance. 

No building shaU exceed fifty feet in height except in the case of gas tanks, grain elevators 
and other such industrial structures, and also towers and spires. 

Area of lot to be covered and distance apart of building to be the same as stated for Industrial 





Basic to a healthy Civic Condition of a city is the adequate housing of its people. 
In Fhnt the tendency seems to be toward a higher standard of living. The worker 
is altogether human; he, as other men, wants proper living conditions for his family 
and proper social conditions ought to be made possible. Overcrowding is a serious 
factor in the creation of unrest. The bad social conditions that exist where there is 
overcrowding do not permit of the rearing of children to be the kind of citizens that 
the ideals of our forefathers who founded this great country demand. And it is an 
undisputable fact that bad hving conditions in many factory centers have done a 
great deal to undermine the confidence of the worker. Bad hving conditions will 
always rank high among the causes of unrest and dissatisfaction of industrial workers. 

Realizing the conditions in Fhnt the General Motors Corporation set aside seven 
million dollars for the construction of a large number of homes for its employees. 
One thousand of these homes have been built, a large percentage of which are now 
occupied by the purchasers and the balance will be occupied as soon as completed. 

The citizens of this city realize that to develop houses for the people will not only 
assist the industries which are already here but will be the means of bringing to the 
city a considerable increase in all kinds of business. 

The Board of Commerce has caused a fundamental engineer's survey to be made, 
which shows the needs of the city and the extreme points of saturation. The survey 
shows the need of a large number of modern priced homes, houses that can be bought 
or rented at terms within the reach of the man who is dependent upon a weekly or 
monthly wage and who has not sufficient funds to build. There is also a need for a 
good quahty of homes where there are good social conditions. These homes should 
be placed on good sized lots where light and air can be had in every room, with sorne 
provision for a garden. 

Owing to the high cost of land the best solution is to make it possible for homes 
to be built in the suburbs of the city. The extension of sewers, water mains and 
other street improvements into the subdivisions and suburbs would enable thousands 
of homes to be built on lots in those districts. 

The extension of street improvements into subdivisions will help greatly to solve 
the problem of high prices. It would enable a greater number of additional lots and 
houses to be put on the market; thus creating a supply more nearly equal to the 
demand, this in turn would cause a decrease in the fabulous and oftimes, unreasonable 
prices asked by speculative real estate dealers. 

The law of supply and demand governs prices, and in proportion as the supply 
equals the demand the price will be decreased. 

The economic and financial side of the problem is, of course, enormous. As to the 
social side, there is probably no other activity which does more to fix and determine 
the health and mold the character of the people than housing. 

Fhnt has always met every problem no matter how hard it was, and a move- 
ment is now on foot to obtain large quantities of outside capital to finance the housing 




■ 'T I ■ I ' l I -t; r ii r i ii iii T r 1 1 i it 

^ou^e tTy^jcfes *^lJnt needs 


PART IV. Transportation 

Colonel Bion J . Arnold 

Colonel Bion J. Arnold was appointed consultant on transporta- 
tion development by the City Planning Committee in 1917 
coincident with the appointment of Mr. John Nolen, city plan- 
ning consultant, both consultants to work in collaboration toward 
the end that a complete and harmonious plan of development 
should be available for the city of Flint. 

Colonel Arnold has for many years acted as consultant on trans- 
portation and ulility development problems for most of the princi- 
pal cities of the United States and Canada, including railroad and 
railroad terminals development and port and harbor development, 
electric railway construction, transit surveys in service, fares, exten- 
sions and reconstruction proceedings; surveys and examinations of 
power plant development and operation, both steam and hydraulic — 
valuations of steam railroad, electric railroad, interurban, telephone 
and light and power properties; grade separation, union stations and 

belt railroad development, passenger subway development, New York and Chicago; financial 

reorganization plans and legislation involved in various cities. 

Specific mention may be made of Arnold reports concerning railroad and terminal development 
in the cities of New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, New Orleans, Jersey City and Syracuse; com- 
prehensive local transportation plans in Chicago, San Francisco, Rochester, Cincinnati and other 
cities; valuations or reports of all the surface and elevated railways of New York and Brooklyn; 
the same for Chicago, Buffalo, Kansas City, Denver, etc. 

The detail of practically all of this work was conducted through the agency of the Arnold Com- 
pany (Engineers-Constructors) of which Colonel Arnold is the founder and president. 

He has received many specific appointments on boards and commissions, notably, the Board 
of Supervising Engineers, Chicago Traction, of which he is chairman, and which has completely 
reconstructed the surface fines of Chicago at a cost of well over $100,000,000; the Railway Terminal 
Commission, Chicago, charged with the proper development of steam railroad facilities within the 
city; the Chicago Traction and Subway Commission, which commission made an exhaustive stud^ 
of the combined elevated and surface lines of the city and presented a complete report with recom- 
mendations for a unified system of surface, elevated and subways; Board of Advisory Engineers 
of the Public Belt Railroad, New Orleans, to develop to its maximum possibilities the second port 
of the United States; now a member of the U. S. Shipping Board Port Facilities Commission, for 
which body he acted as consultant during the late war. 

Of special interest in connection with the Flint plan may be mentioned Colonel Arnold's services 
as the first independent consulting engineer called to advise as to the feasibility of and to devise a 
plan for the electrification of the Grand Central Terminal in New York, and as a member of the 
Electric Traction Commission which carried on the work; also his connection with the electrification 
of the St. Clair tunnel between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, the plans for which 
w;ere devised by him, and the work carried out under his supervision; and finally his services in 
developing final plans and ordinances for the Pennsylvania-St. Paul union station, Chicago, now 
under construction. 

Colonel Arnold is a past president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the 
Western Society of Engineers; is a member of the American Institute of Consulting Engineers and 
many other technical organizations. 

Just prior to the war he was one of five engineers selected by the national engineering societies 
of the United States to formulate a plan under which the services of the civilian engineers could 
be made available to the government in time of war. Out of this grew the Officers' Reserve Corps 
act. He was appointed by Secretary Daniels member of the Naval Consulting Board of the United 
States in 1916, served in this capacity, as well as Lt. Colonel in the Air Service of the Army 
throughout the war and is now a Colonel in the Reserve Corps. 


f>L»rM Ato iOO 

Letter of Transmittal 

^ , June 30, 1919. 

To the Mayor and 
Members of the City Planning Board, 
City of Flint, Michigan. 

In accordance with the request of Mr. J. D. 
Dort, Vice-Chairman of your City Planning 
Board, authorizing me to undertake a study of 
the transportation requirements of your city, 
I beg to hand you herewith my report upon the 
subjects submitted to me for consideration under 
the terms of the contract between your Board 
and myself. The essential requirements of this 
contract as stated therein are indicated by the 
following excerpt: 

"(a) A study of the steam railway traffic, 
terminal, interchange and switching situation, 
especially with regard to the industries requiring 
spur track service, also the relative demands for 
house and team track service and the possibih- 
ties of further co-ordinating railroad facilities. 
"(b) Ways and means of securing relief from 
the present shortage of shipping facilities in 
such manner that the solution recommended 
will be reasonably permanent as far as the track 
plan is concerned, which plan will make pro- 
vision for future enlargement of industrial 
operations with the intention of avoiding the 
recurrence of the present embarrassments in 
shipping facilities. 

"(c) A study of the requirements of existing 
and probable future interurban lines, utilizing 
the present lines and developing them where it 
is practicable to operate them more effectively, 
both as passenger and freight lines. 

"(d) A plan of development for the existing 
local street railway system, in order that, as 
the city grows, extensions may be made to meet 
the demands of particular districts as required, 
in conformity with a comprehensive plan, and 
not, as is often done, without reference to such 
a plan. 

"(e) Close co-operation with the City's Consul- 
tant in City Planning in order that recommenda- 
tions may be worked out which will give the 
City of Flint an harmonious plan of develop- 
ment, meeting not only present needs, but also 
serving as a guide for the future." 

Broadly speaking, these questions resolve 
themselves into the development of a general 
program of transportation improvement for 
your city, which, together with a closely related 
program of city planning improvement, might 
furnish a basis for action from time to time in 
furthering municipal improvements. 

In developing this program I have familiar- 
ized myself with the special problems of your 
city, both by personal inspection on the ground 
at various times and through the work of my 
engineering staff in charge of Mr. J. R. Bibbins, 
my principal assistant on this class of work; 
and, in accordance with the spirit of the con- 
tract, this work has been carried out in co- 
operation with Mr. John Nolen, your specialist 

m City Planning, through numerous confer- 
ences m Flint, Chicago and the East. Particu- 
larly, I have endeavored to make as definite 
recommendations as possible consistent with the 
general plan presented, by which you might 
proceed definitely from time to time with your 
municipal improvements. 

The essential problems involved appear to 
have sprung from the extraordinary industrial 
growth of the City of Fhnt, the consequent 
difficulty experienced by the raihoads in pro- 
viding additional facilities fast enough to keep 
up with this growth, particularly during the 
exceptional period of war time, and the desire 
on your part to provide intelligently for further 
industrial growth under conditions which would 
insure the most convenient surroundings and 
adequate transportation service. An important 
step has been taken by your public spirited 
citizens under the leadership of Mr. Dort, in 
organizing the proposed "East Side Industrial 
District," and I am glad to say that no better 
example of foresight has come to my knowledge 
than this action of pre-empting the large areas 
required for such development and carrying the 
financial burden until the plan could properly 

The program herein developed embodies the 
following : 

1. Relief of the present railroad main line 
congestion by the construction of an East Side 
cut-off and industrial line and the creation of 
a new railroad service for the North Flint and 
other industries. 

2. The perfection of arrangements whereby 
these railroad improvements may be instru- 
mental in developing the East Side Industrial 
District for future city expansion and under 
conditions whereby the City of Flint may es- 
tablish an industrially controlled railroad right- 
of-way open to all comers, forming the nucleus 
of a future Public Belt Line operating strictly 
as a neutral agency from which impartial freight 
service could be secured by all the industries 
tributary thereto. 

3. Re-arrangement of railroad interchange 
and switching by means of which the inter- 
ference with normal street traffic in Saginaw St. 
may be reduced to a minimum or eliminated 

4. Re- arrangement of switching facilities 
whereby freight classification may largely be 
carried out beyond the limits of the settled dis- 
tricts of the city. 

5. Re-arrangement of electric-interurban rout- 
ing and service whereby through freight may 
be handled off the principal city thoroughfares 
and possibly also through passenger service 
whenever desirable. 

6. Provision of suitable interurban entrances 
to the City of Flint for other roads and the 
grouping of both passenger and freight facilities. 

7. The adoption of a general City Plan to 
direct the improvements instituted by the city 


authorities from time to time so as to preserve 
an harmonious development for both civic and 
transportation needs. 

8. Future development of a Public Service 
Belt Line so as to connect physically the im- 
portant north, south and east side industrial 
districts, and secure maximum facilities for in- 
dustrial freight. 

9. Consideration of possible plans for ulti- 
mate grade separation and Union Station devel- 
opment in the heart of the city. 

10. Proper development of Thread Creek 
bottoms and related thoroughfares; also the 
Chevrolet bottoms, south side flats and the 
Flint River frontage. 

11. Consideration of a street railway or Tran- 
sit Plan to which future extensions might reason- 
ably conform, especially with reference to suit- 
able radial lines and crosstown routes. 

Aside from, but related to the matters above 
enumerated there has arisen also the peculiEU 
problem of charter revision and the specific 
matters which should properly be included in 
your proposed charter. Ordinarily a charter is 
to be construed as purely an enabling act by 
which the public authorities are to be governed. 
It is only the machinery by which the 
city government operates. It seems, there- 
fore, that the statement of principles rather 
than details should find their proper place in 
such a charter, and it is upon this assumption 
that the conclusions presented in this report are 
based. In other words, the cheuter, in my 
judgment, should state civic policies and organi- 
zation rather than an exact rigid program from 
which the authorities might not be permitted 
to depart in some particulars, should eventual 
developments make it desirable to do so. 

An important phase of the work which I have 
carried out in Flint has been the study of proper 
entrance facilities for the Flint and Great Lakes 
Raihoad Co., a corporation associated with and 
to be operated by the Detroit United Railway 
in connection with its interurban service. A 
number of conferences have been held, including 
appearances before the Michigan State Railroad 
Commission, and a definite alignment for this 
new railroad entrance, based upon detailed sur- 
veys, was approved by me on October 29, 1917, 
and submitted to the Commission. Owing to 
conditions beyond our control, this plan was 
later challenged and the situation re-studied in 
its entirety, following which a supplemental 
report, analyzing this problem from its various 
angles, was submitted to all parties interested 
under date of August 31, 1918, including the 
Michigan Railroad Commission. This supple- 
mental report, re-affirming the location for- 
merly recommended, is approved by me and is 
included in the Appendix hereto. 

Subsequently, with the termination of the 
war, the necessity arose for reviving considera- 
tion of the Pere Marquette cut-off and the Flint 
Belt Line. After a series of conferences with 

the parties concerned, three Belt Line proposi- 
tions were developed and submitted for consid- 
eration on May 16, 1919, these being designated 
as Plans X, Y, and Z, respectively, and designed 
with the object of constituting the Great Lakes 
Railroad, all roads combined, or, as proposed, 
the Pere Marquette Railroad, as the agency 
through which the Belt Line would become a 
reality. A supplemental contract agreement to 
be entered into by such agency formed an essen- 
tial part of each plan and the terms thereof, 
outlined in his preliminary report, hereto ap- 
pended, appear to me sufficiently explicit to 
secure, in fact as well as in principle, the univer- 
sal neutral switching service contemplated in 
my report as an important foundation stone 
upon which the future industrial city should 
be erected. Quoting: 

"The object has been to secure a fair 
and equitable working agreement suited 
to the present desire of the City of Flint 
for immediate action and still sufficiently 
flexible so as to enable the Belt Line Plan 
to be expanded gradually into the broad, 
modern conception of City Terminal Ser- 
vice, under economic conditions so stable 
as to render it a matter of complete in- 
difference whether the terminal property 
is financed and operated by one or more 
railroads, by the City of Flint, or by the 

In the present state of development, I feel 
confident that if the operating agency (most 
logically, the Pere Marquette Railroad), will 
accept and carry out in good faith the broad 
principles laid down in the Belt Line Plan, the 
rapid and harmonious development of the in- 
dustrial city will be assured as far as the trans- 
portation service is concerned. 

Further tentative recommendations on Char- 
ter Amendments with respect to the City and 
Transit Plan were submitted and approved, and 
will be found in the Appendix. 

In conclusion, I desire to express my appre- 
ciation of your consideration and deference in 
accepting the interference and delays due to 
war service directly or indirectly, and also to 
acknowledge the co-operation and assistance 
which have been most willingly rendered by the 
members of your Board, the City authorities, 
particularly Mr. Ezra C. Shoecraft and his 
engineering staff, the various public spirited 
men connected with the industries of Flint, and 
officials of the several railroads. While certain 
valuable railroad and industrial data requested 
did not materialize, enough has been obtained 
to warrant the conclusions presented in this 
report, and I take pleasure in saying in conclu- 
sion, that the active spirit and interest evidenced 
by many citizens of your City seems to me to 
promise unusually favorable development in 
the future. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations 

Taking into consideration all of the facts and 
studies developed herein from this transporta- 
tion survey of the Flint District, the following 
conclusions and recommendations are made: 

1. The extraordinary recent industrial growth 
of Flint makes it necessary to depend to an 
unusual extent upon judgment and foresight 
rather than upon precedent, in providing for 
the future, as well as for the present city's needs. 
This is illustrated by the fact that population, 
factory employees and school attendance have 
doubled in less than six years; the assessed land 
valuation, upon which the bonding power of 
the city is usually based, has doubled in seven 
years; bank clearings in less than two years; 
and railroad business in Flint in about 2.5 
years, the recent rapid growth having taken 
place since 1910, chiefly as a result of the ex- 
pansion in the automobile industry. 

2. But extension of local railroad facilities 
has not kept pace with the city's industrial 
growth, although such improvements as have 
been made would have been able to relieve the 
situation had not the shortage in rolling stock 
suitable for automobile carriage become so acute 
throughout the country. The problem of roll- 
ing stock appears to be a major problem. Hence 
a satisfactory solution becomes to a large degree 
a problem of national as well as of local impor- 
tance, which can only be solved by (1) building 
a large amount of additional rolling stock; 
(2) giving Flint industries access to their pro 
rata share of automobile equipment of other 
roads; (3) devising means for using outbound 
empty cars of standard design for loading auto- 
mobiles, as attempted before the Railroad Ad- 
ministration order prohibiting the use of empty 
flats and hopper-bottom cars for this purpose. 
Shortage of heavy railroad motive power, 
especially during the winter months, is also a 
part of the problem. 

3. In view of the above conditions, it is be- 
lieved that the City of Flint should encourage 
the entrance of other roads, such as the Michigan 
Central (New York Central lines), via the 
proposed Detroit United Railway and Great 
Lakes Railroad entrance, as detailed herein. 

4. The valuable service rendered by the elec- 
tric interurbans in Flint, during the so-called 
"transition period" of transportation develop- 
ment indicates that the possibilities of these 
interurbans have not been developed to their 
fullest extent for express and fast freight, as well 

as for passenger service, and also as connecting 
links for facilitating the entry of other steam 
roads, in order to conserve as far as possible 
the total railroad mileage and investment re- 
quired for the service of the community. 

5. The City of Flint should establish and 
clothe with proper authority some skilled ofiicial 
body to consider, plan and initiate continuous 
transportation development, both steam and 
electric, within the City and for several miles 
outside *(a) commensurate with its economic 
growth, so as to encourage new railroad con- 
nections, new industrial districts, centrahzed 
passenger and freight station facilities and a 
unified control by the City of railroad car service, 
switching and interchange, along lines of strict 
neutrality, removing inequitable economic bar- 
riers to competitive railroad development and 
securing the fullest co-ordination of Transpor- 
tation and City Plans. 

6. It is deemed desirable for the City to 
work progressively toward the Public Service 
Belt Line Plan of Terminal service even though 
the time may not yet be opportune for placing 
actual terminal operations under direct public 

7. The underlying principles of this service 
should be strict neutrality of switching and car 
service and a reasonable cost-of-service-plus- 
profit basis of charges, with separate accounting 

8. The Pere Marquette at present appears 
to be logically the nucleus of such Belt Line 
operations and may well be given the option 
to become the principal switching agency in 
Flint under the Belt Line Plan proposed herein, 
provided the essential conditions of such service 
are agreed to. 

9. Existing railroads are confronted with the 
alternative of track elevation over Saginaw St., 
or the provision of more terminal yard and 
freight by-pass facilities. The Pere Marquette 
cut-oiT is considered an immediate necessity and 
may be established at minimum expense as a 
part of the Belt Line Plan, which offers the only 
real alternative to immediate track elevation. 

10. Certain local grade separation problems 
require early solution independent of eventual 
track elevation. Such as Second St., Avon St., 
West Court St., Fenton Road, Stewart Ave., 
and possibly South Saginaw St. 

11. The extension of industrial areas is one 
of the first desirable steps for the future City 
Plan, and the so-caUed East Side Industrial 

♦Present charter specifies ten miles. 


District is believed to be the most advantageous 
site, offering great possibilities of development 
both for present and future from the standpoint 
of railroad service, housing and prevailing winds. 

12. Thread Creek Bottoms should be devel- 
oped more extensively for use for freight and 
warehouses, terminal yards for fuel and con- 
struction materials and for team tracks. The 
City should discourage housing in this area. 

13. The Grand Trunk East Side yard along 
Burton St., is, unfortunately, located too near 
the settled districts for either present or future 
use as a local classification yard. The invest- 
ment, however, could well be conserved by 
allowing the railroad to use this yard for a few 
years, under definite restrictions, purely as a 
holding yard supplementing the main yard at 
Belsay. Under such restrictions, the switching 
nuisance could be reduced to a minimum. How- 
ever, grade separation for Kearsley St., should 
be provided, as described herein. 

14. Until such time as other improved inter- 
change connections are available, the inter- 
change switching operations should be so sched- 
uled by the railroads as to fall outside of business 
hours, especially morning and evening rush 
hours. This is desirable to avoid the inter- 
ference with Saginaw St. traflic, which cannot 
be avoided with the present interchange. 

15. In general, local switching and classifica- 
tion yards, engine terminals and other railroad 
facilities, the operation of which tends to depre- 
ciate surrounding property, especially when new 
facilities are contemplated within the settled 
district, should be receded to points beyond the 
settled districts. This is eminently a matter 
of City Planning. 

16. Combined Union Station facilities should 
be incorporated in any future program of the 
City Plan, together with railroad and street 
grade separation through the center of the city- 
The engineering studies presented herein indi- 
cate that the existing Grand Trunk site can 
probably be developed most effectively for this 

17. The unfortunate location of the Chevrolet 
group of industries in a depression or pocket, 
requires a new freight outlet, either across 
Thread Creek Bottoms, as indicated herein, or 
by a new approach from the rear. The re- 
strictions of this site appear to offer no reason- 
able alternative. 

18. The private right-of-way entrance origin- 
ally acquired by the Detroit United Railway 
and the terminal lands in Gilkey Creek Bottoms 
should be abandoned for railroad purposes and 

turned back as city area for park, street or 
housing purposes. 

19. Detroit United Railway should be given 
a right -of-user or franchise along Western Road 
and suitable connections thereto from Crago, 
and from Stewart Avenue (new bridge crossing) , 
or other North Flint crossing, as may be later 
determined upon. 

20. Both the City and the Detroit United 
Railway should have the option to join with the 
Pere Marquette in the construction of the Pere 
Marquette bridge, in order that joint facilities 
for railroad, electric railway and highway may 
be secured at minimum expense, in case the 
City desires to develop a highway crossing at 
this point. 

21. The Detroit United Railway should be 
adequately compensated for the investment 
which it has already made in good faith and 
sustained to provide additional freight facilities 
for Flint, in accordance with the expressed 
desires and suggestions of the authorities and 
industries concerned. 

22. The provision of a Union Station and 
opening of through streets across the river, 
suggests the beginning of a plan for removing 
the heavy through interurban service from the 
congested city streets, which eventually will 
become imperative, at least for freight. 

23. The street railway or Transit Plan should 
be developed along the principal main thorough- 
fares and through the center of the city on the 
general plan of through-routes, some of which 
are now in operation. Ultimately, crosstown 
routes will also be required to provide the 
shortest riding between outlying sections ad- 
jacent to each other, and especially to the factory 
districts. It is quite probable that auto-motor 
service could be advantageously operated on 
certain outlying routes, particularly to "try 
out" the best route and to avoid expensive street 
railway construction, before the necessity there- 
for becomes clear. 

24. The Michigan Railway Company should 
be encouraged to build a new entrance into the 
city from Owosso via West Third Ave., or 
private right-of-way, so as to provide a con- 
necting link for electric service through Flint 
to the West. This connection would also re- 
lieve the Chevrolet situation, as stated in para- 
graph 17. 

25. The excessive demands of rush hour ser- 
vice over mid-day or non-rush service in Flint 
suggests that every effort be made to develop 
aids to local transportation, such as the overlap 
or staggered hours of working, special pre-pay 


car loading berths for large factories, and the 
establishment of restrictions which will make 
the jitney a dependable part of the service, 
rather than an irresponsible competitor for the 
lucrative short-haul business. The local fare 
and service problem should be worked out on 
the cost-of-service-plus-profit plan, which alone 
can secure the proper economic balance. 

26. Finally, the City Plan should be con- 
served and developed in perfecting parallel 
streets supplementing Saginaw St., to accommo- 
date part of the car and vehicle traffic, also the 
construction of new bridges across the River 
to avoid long detour riding and resulting needless 
congestion of the central district by crosstown 
passengers. These and various other minor 
City Plan improvements noted herein are 
strongly recommended for immediate considera- 
tion, so that they may be executed or put under 
reservation before the opportunity disappears 

through rise in value of property required or by 
the building of permanent obstructions, as has 
already occurred at the intersections of Asylum 
St., Kearsley and Glenwood Ave. 

SUMMARIZING, this Report recommends 
especially : 

1. The Pere Marquette Cut-off. 

2. The Fhnt Belt Line. 

3. The East Side Industrial District. 

4. Perfection of the City Plan. 

5. Development of Thread Creek Bottoms. 

6. Second Street Viaduct. 

7. Michigan Railway Entrance. 

8. Union Electric Depot Terminal. 
Basic Transit Plan Reservations. 
Ultimate Steam Union Station and eleva- 

Board or Commission with power to act. 




Detailed Discussion of Basic Facts 

General Characteristics of Growth. 
Railroad Facilities and Traffic. 
Proper Development of Railroad Facihties. 
Street Traffic Problem. 

Special Development Studies 

Flint and Great Lakes Railroads Entrance. 

Pere Marquette Railroad Cut-off. 

East Side Industrial Development. 

Public Service Belt Line. 

New Railroad Outlet for Chevrolet District. 

Development of Thread Creek Bottoms. 

Grand Trunk East Side Yard. 
Union Station Plans and Grade Separation. 
Interurban Railway Facilities and Develop- 
Transit Development and City Planning. 

Appendix 1 — Preliminary on North Flint Cross- 

Appendix 2 — Notes on Charter Amendments. 

Appendix 3 — Preliminary Report Flint Belt Line. 

Organization of Flint Industrial Belt Rail- 

Contract Agreement Provisions. 


Railroad Track Development 

This diagram shows in a simpKfied manner the relation of the raihoad main 
hnes through Fhnt, the function of the Grand Trunk cut-off and the proposed Pere 
Marquette cut-off in by-passing freight around instead of carrying it through the 
center of the city, and the full possibilities of ultimate development. When the 
Grand Trunk cut-off was built, it was thought far enough outside of the city, but it is 
now well within the city. The proposed Pere Marquette cut-off is located about 
twice as far from the business center, in a right-of-way extending through the proposed 
East Side Industrial District, which may be served by all railroads, including the 
Fhnt and Great Lakes Railroad, operating over the Detroit United Railway hues to 
Oxford and there connecting with the Michigan Central. This east side location 
takes advantage of the prevaihng winds to keep the city reasonably free from smoke, 
dust and gases from the factories to be located there. 

In dotted lines are indicated the electric interurban roads, which serve Flint so 
effectively at the present time. A much needed and very effective additional service 
would be that of the Michigan Electric Railway extension west of Flint to Owosso 
for both passenger service and for freight connection with the Ann Arbor, Grand 
Trunk and Pere Marquette Railroads at Owosso, and with its own electric lines to 
Lansing, Jackson and western points. This connection could also relieve the Chev- 
rolet industries in the same manner as the Detroit United connection at Crago would 
relieve the east side industries. 

The plan of the proposed Flint Belt Line, of which the Pere Marquette cut-off 
represents the first element, is indicated by code. Later it is hoped the railroads will 
agree to co-operate and extend the Belt Line service so as to give the Chevrolet in- 
dustries a southern outlet to avoid switching across the city ; i. e. by the Chevrolet 
cut-off in Thread Creek Bottoms, and ultimately, an Outer Belt connection may 
be desirable, thus completing the belt system from McGrew to Crago, Grand Blanc 
and the west side junction. , 

This diagram covers all the principal railroad operations devoted to Flint busi- 
ness, the McGrew, Belsay, Crago and West Side yards being the principal points 
where road trains would be made up from city freight hauled out from the city yards 
and industries, freight houses and team tracks. Thus all the principal freight classi- 
fication and switching therefor may be done outside of the residential and business 
district, leaving the downtown facilities only for city freight. 

The entire northwest section of the city under this plan should remain for residen- 
tial development, which is one of the most fortunate features of the railroad plan. 


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Indices of Growth of City and Forecast 

Exhibit IV. 

Starting in 1890 with approximately 10,000 people, the growth of Fhnt as meas- 
ured by the United States census and school returns and forecast for the future, is 
indicated by the lower curve. A forecast of population increase may be based upon 
various factors, but on none so surely as on the school attendance. In 1890, the 
population was found to be 3.6 times the school attendance, in 1900 4.1 times, and 
in 1910 5.8 times. Since 1910 the school attendance has continued to increase, as 
indicated by the upper curve, so named. The increasing proportion of adults to 
children clearly reflects the great expansion of industrial life, but evidently a limit 
can be reached, or the city would otherwise become disproportionately full of male 
workers, consequently the estimated population since 1910 is based upon a maxi- 
mum ratio of 6.0 inhabitants for each child attending school. 5 

This basis indicates at the present time a population of approximately 100,000 
persons has been reached in Flint, and, if continued to 1925, a population of 140,000 
would have to be provided for. The most definite forecast of the immediate future 
of Flint that may be made is, that within a comparatively few years, from 100,000 
to 140,000 people may be anticipated. 

Another indication of the rapid trend of increase in population will be found in 
the curve of factory employees, showing an increase in the average yearly number 
of employees from about 3,000 in 1908 to 17,000 in 1916. It is to this curve of popu- 
lation that housing activities must be directed. 


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Railroad and Vehicle Traffic at Saginaw Street 

Exhibit VI. 

Actual observation of the intersecting steam railroad and street traffic at the two 
downtown railroad crossings in Saginaw St. disclosed striking results. The diagram 
indicates not only the frequency of passenger trains and freight trains, but also the 
length of the trains and the number of switching engine movements for each railroad. 
Thus there were 47 train movements across Saginaw street in 10 hours (6 a. m. to 5 
P. M.) with 502 cars total. One-third of the movement was over the Grand Trunk 
tracks, two-thirds over Pere Marquette tracks. Pere Marquette trains as long as 35 
to 55 cars moved over the junction, the average length of trains being about 20 cars, 
against an average of about 10 cars on the Grand Trunk. Most of the switching 
engine movements were on Pere Marquette tracks. This train movement appeared 
to be fairly well distributed throughout the day. 

Crossing this train traffic, were counted from about 400 vehicles per hour (6 to 7 
A. M.) to about 1100 per hour for the busy hours of noon and evening. The counts 
varied considerably, but showed about 900 automobiles, 100 horse-drawn vehicles, 75 
street cars during rush hours. Traffic delays recorded by the Detroit United Railway 
showed from 340 to 430 car-minutes in total outage per month (only delays exceeding 
five minutes being reported) averaging from 7 to 10 minutes per car during four 
months observation. Occasionally the crossings are held from 15 to 20 minutes even 
during rush hour. 

It is obvious that any thoroughfare handhng 1,000 vehicles per hour with an 
intersecting train movement of 5 trains per hour, calls for a prompt remedy, especially 
in view of the rapid growth of the city. 

Note: In 1916 a traffic survey showed more than a thousand vehicles per hour 
crossing the railroad tracks on Saginaw street during the rush periods at noon and 
evening. Day after day the count showed upwards of 900 automobiles, 100 horse 
drawn vehicles and 75 street cars in each of its rush hours. The lighest hour of the 
day — between 6 and 7 A. M. upwards of 400 vehicles of all kinds crossed the tracks. 
The traffic reached its peak from 12 M. to 1 P. M. with 1,100 vehicles. 

Recent counts for 1919 indicate a 40 per cent, increase in the above figures. 

Traffic counts in November, 1919, at the corner of Avon St. and the Richfield 
Road (Grand Trunk Main Line crossing) show an average of slightly more than 275 
vehicles per hour for ten days, including two Sundays, when traffic at that point is 
cut down more than half. The highest noon hour peak reported is 412. No traffic 
was delayed there more than five minutes. 

At Hamilton Avenue a count in November, 1919, showed an average of 162 
vehicles per hour for 94 hours crossing the Pere Marquette, with noon day peak of 
about 225. 

West Kearsley street crossing showed 169 per hour average for 65 hours. 


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Condensed Profile of Grand Trunk Main Line 

Exhibit XVI. 

Railroad grades are difficult to measure by the naked eye. This profde, which is 
exaggerated in the vertical scale, shows how Flint developed outwardly ip both 
directions from the original settlement in the valley. The Grand Trunk main line 
descends from a level plateau on the east (elevation 760) to the bottom of the valley 
(elevation 712) then ascends to the western plateau (elevation 780). The controlling 
grades on the east are at Gilkey Creek 0.92% and Stevens St., 1.0%; on the west at 
Kearsley St., 1.33%, this grade being on a curve. 

The short level stretch west of Gilkey Creek along Burton St. illustrates the 
reason for the desire of the Grand Trunk to locate a local holding yard there, as the 
only other reasonable location is clearly west of the new East Side Industrial District, 
i. e., at Belsay. 

On the profile, is indicated the minimum track elevation required for develop- 
ment of the Union Station downtown. To extend this elevation entirely across the 
valley, so as to efiminate the steep western grade, more than twice the construction 
work here shown would be necessary. For a more extensive plan of track elevation, 
the approach shown here would preferably be carried further east, in order to secure a 
much needed grade separation at Avon St. and Richfield Road. But owing to the 
rising railroad grade, it would probably be necessary to depress the street grade at 
this point considerably. 

This profile indicates very clearly the necessity of the Grand Trunk low grade 
cut-off for through freight and the foresight of the railroad in building its cut-off 
years ago. 

Condensed Profile of Pere Marquette Main Line 

Exhibit XVII 

This profile illustrates, for the Pere Marquette, the same general features as the 
preceding one for the Grand Trunk. Here the Pere Marquette also drops down into 
the valley from McGrew Yard, with a comparatively easy grade, to the same bottom 
level (elevation 712) ; thence rises by a long 0.5 grade to the southeastern summit 
around Grand Blanc. Because of this rise, the Court St. viaduct fine is somewhat 
higher than would be necessary at Second St. Similarly, the proposed Fenton Road 
grade separation will have to rise still higher (probably above elevation 745). 

The minimum track elevation through the center of the city which is necessary 
for a Union Station project, is generally indicated on the profile, this elevation being 
shown along the present main line from Fourth Ave. on the north to Second St. on 
the south. The sharp break in grade at about Avon St. naturally suggests the point 
of beginning the track elevation, but a more extended program of track elevation 
should encourage the provision of some form of grade separation at Avon St. which 
could be brought about by the slight diversion of the Avon St. under crossing. An 
extension of track elevation on the south end, however, will probably be unfeasible, 
by reason of the necessity of a viaduct in Second street, for if the south approach 
incline were carried as far south as the Court St. viaduct, it would probably be found 
impracticable to build the viaduct in Second St., and the team yard development 
on the ground level would then render a surface street quite ineffective. 



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Exhibit XVI— 
Condensed Pro- 
file of Grand 
Trunk Main 

Exhibit XVII— 
Condensed Pro- 
file of P e r e 
Marquette Main 



Typical Factory Development, East Side 
Industrial District 

Exhibit XI. 

Western Road is today too narrow for the principal future thoroughfare on the 
East Side, and should be widened to 80 feet or more, the west side being developed 
for stores, garages and other business establishments. On the east side, the factory 
buildings ought to be set back at least 50 feet, and office and administration buildings 
still further, to provide an attractive entrance or plaza. Between the factory build- 
ings would run the platform service tracks and preferably a roadway for trucks and 
fire apparatus. In the rear of the factory development would be the yard tracks and 
switching-leads connecting at suitable points with the Belt Line tracks within the 
100 feet right of-way reserved to the Pere Marquette for this purpose. 

The development west of the Belt Line should be planned for now in order to 
prevent the possibility of starting unsuitable housing, which would later be required 
for factory purposes. 

It is of course impossible to anticipate whether factories will develop along 
Western Road and the Belt Line, or at right angles thereto. If of the latter type, the 
factory spur tracks would of course curve into the industrial property at right angles 
to the direction herein indicated. Either type is feasible. Note that no railroad 
will have exclusive right of development of this district, as freight service will be 
available not only from the Pere Marquette, but also from the Grand Trunk and the 
Michigan Central (via Great Lakes connection to Oxford.) 


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Chevrolet Gut-off — Grand Trunk-Pere 
Marquette Inter-change 

Exhibit XII. 

The Chevrolet industries unfortunately are in a pocket to which there are only 
two means of access other than the present Grand Trunk main line. The first is 
from the west along the Chevrolet bottom lands and the other is from the south as 
indicated in this plan and profile. Connecting with the Pere Marquette main fine 
beneath the Court St. viaduct, a track could be built across Thread Creek Bottoms 
and curving westerly into the industrial tracks of the Chevrolet works, which cross 
the Fhnt River farther west. This Chevrolet cut-off, if operated in connection with 
the Belt Line (first plan referred to) adds the final link to the ultimate Flint Belt 
line advocated herein. It would provide a simple means of inter-change between the 
three industrial districts without passing through the business district and would 
also eliminate from the Saginaw street crossing all in and out through freight from 
the Chevrolet District, as this would find a simpler entrance and exit via Pere Mar- 
quette, Grand Trunk or Belt Line. 

While the line must necessarily cross Kearsley street, local switching would not 
be done on these tracks, as suitable holding tracks are available on Chevrolet property 
and the Belt Line plan contemplates the use of the Pere Marquette yard between 
Court street and Fenton Road. 

To complete the Belt, a curve connection would be built in the south corner of 
the Pere Marquette-Grand Trunk crossing South Flint, over which Belt Line traffic 
would move. The advantage of this cut-off and how well it works into the railroad 
plan for Thread Creek Bottoms is indicated on the next exhibit. No. 14B. 

Industrial Development of Thread Greek Bottorns 

Exhibit XIV. B 

Flint will need more freight yard and warehouse capacity for accommodating 
rough construction materials, such as coal, oil, lumber, cement, etc., and for local 
business ordinarily done on team tracks. Thread Creek Bottoms offers an unusually 
good location for such uses and housing therein should be discontinued. 

In the Transit Plan presented herein, Kearsley street, through this district, is 
reserved entirely for vehicles and Second street, which is a far better connecting 
business street, is to be elevated between Ann Arbor and McCreery streets by viaduct 
across the Pere Marquette main line and all proposed yard tracks. 

The plan shows an adaption of the present warehouse arrangement, capable 
of handling 130 cars on team tracks alone in addition to the warehouse tracks. A 
double end team yard is possible by developing both the lower as well as the upper 
levels of Second street, using the railroad "air-rights"* for the latter. Incidentally, 
the Thread Creek channel could well be changed from its present location, thereby 
greatly increasing the capacity of the district for yard purposes and at the same time 
reducing the difficulties of flooding. 

The proposed Chevrolet cut-off alongside Hall street works well into the general 
plan and the ultimate elevation of the Pere Marquette main line, downtown, does not 
interfere in any respect. Also with this plan, the present Pere Marquette team 
tracks along Beach street, which are altogether too near this business district,' may 
be set back into the Thread Creek Bottoms to very good advantage. 

* Meaning righL-of-Jsage above existing facilities on ground level. 


Exhibit XIV-B— 
Industrial d e - 
velopment o f 
Thread Creek 

Exhibit XII — 
Proposed Grand 
Trunk and Pere 
Marquette In- 
Chevrolet Cut- 

Exhibit XV — 
Proposed Via- 
duct at West 
Second Street 

Second Street Viaduct and Grade Separation 

Exhibit XV. 

The logic of the provision of a viaduct crossing over Thread Creek Bottoms in 
Second street is illustrated by this profile. Second street like Court street, connects 
the general high level of the business district with the high ground west of Thread 
Creek, which is the apex of a great stretch of excellent habitable territory running 
westerly between Miller Road and Beecher street. 

Only three thoroughfares are available for east- west traffic, viz., Kearsley, Second 
and Court streets. As previously noted, West Kearsley street should be reserved 
for vehicle traffic exclusively, leaving only Second and Court streets for car-line 
traffic. Both should be high level connecting thoroughfares, and with Second street 
extended west to Court street (where now obstructed at Fox street), these two 
thoroughfares should furnish ample accessibility to the Southwest district. 

The Union Station and track elevation plans presented herein all provide for the 
Pere Marquette elevation through the city, descending to present grade at Second 
street. Consequently, Second street viaduct will be practically on the same level as 
the Court street viaduct, with full 22 feet clearance to the railroad track. On the 
west, the viaduct approach should be carried to McCreery street, on the east, to Ann 
Arbor street, thus giving easy approach grades. 

It wiU undoubtedly be found desirable to keep open the lower level of Second 
street for giving access to the double-end freight yard previously described. 

It is probable, therefore, that an easement over railroad property could be secured 
on very reasonable terms, thus developing both the street rights and the "air-rights" 
in this important thoroughfare. 


Track Plan of Proposed Union Station 

Exhibit C-XXI. 

After a detailed study of various sites which might be considered feasible for a 
Union Station, and the problems involved in finding suitable approaches and traffic 
grades to the station level, the present Grand Trunk site, with adjacent land, is recom- 
mended for ultimate development. The exhibit indicates in a general way the 
minimum limits of elevation, which would be necessary to carry out the project at 
all. Of course more extended track elevation would be desirable from the city's 
viewpoint, which question should be settled at the time the Union Station elevation 
is actively underteiken. 

In this plan C, the Pere Marquette is diverted from its St. John street right-of- 
way near Avon street, carried over the river on ascending grade and joined to the 
Grand Trunk main fine at the station level. Across Saginaw street, the station 
tracks would be reduced as far as possible and at Beach street the two railroad fines 
would diverge, the Pere Marquette coming to grade at Second street and the Grand 
Trunk at Smith street or across the Ffint river. AU streets from Cfifford on the north 
to Kearsley on the south would pass underneath the elevation structure with suffi- 
cient clearance for loaded vehicles and for car-fines where necessary. 

This station location is unique in its accessibifity to the business district, and 
yet, being "tucked away" along the river, it offers no obstruction whatever to proper 
business development. The valuable frontage on Saginaw street would be retained, 
and the station headhouse developed at about Harrison street facing an enlarged 
plaza, largely upon railroad owned land. The river frontage would also be developed 
in connection with the station. 

Cfifford street passing underneath and across the river, would provide an efficient 
through car-line service street, with Harrison street affording an opportunity for 
vehicle approach to the station building. With car fines in Saginaw and Clifford 
streets and Harrison street thus reserved for motor vehicles, it is befieved tliat no 
station site could be selected having greater natural conveniences to the traveling 

To carry out these plans, the Grand Trunk freight house and team yard would 
have to be set back, at least to Clifford, with the office building facing thereon. The 
team tracks should be receded still further, preferably to land along the Michigan 
Light Company's tract next to the railroad, now occupied by coal piles. In fact, it is 
probable that considerable team track capacity could be developed at the junction 
of these two elevated lines, thus utilizing otherwise waste land for this useful purpose. 


Exhibit C-XXI— 
Showing s u g - 
gested location 
for Union Sta- 
tion and track 
layout for same 

Exhibit C-XXII- 
Pere Marquette 
elevation Union 
Station Plan 

Exhibit C-XXIII- 
Grand Trunk 
elevation Union 
Station Plan 

NOTE — On page 87 the numbers of the exhibits should be reversed, Exhibit XXll being Pere Marquette and Exhibit XXIII being Grand Trunk. 

Grand Trunk Elevation, Union Station Plan 

Exhibit C-XXII. 

On the minimum plan of track elevation for the Union Station, this profile in- 
dicates track elevation work about 3,700 feet in length, or about 5,000 feet in length, 
if the westerly descent is carried across the Flint River. From the level of the Burton 
street yard, the Grand Trunk line breaks grade at about East street, thence descending 
at 1% grade to the station. Taking advantage of this, an ascending grade of only 
0.5% would result, if the station elevation were commenced at East street. 

On the west, it is a little more difficult to secure an easy descent unless the eleva- 
tion is extended 1,500 feet further across Thread Creek. This, however, is largely 
controlled by the changes possible in the grade of Smith street. 

Ultimately, if not soon, a grade separation at Richfield and Avon streets, and 
possibly Crapo street, will be forced by the increasing traffic of these very important 
thoroughfares. While the construction of the river roads along Flint River and new 
bridges at Chfford and Wood streets will probably go far to relieve this Richfield- 
Avon crossing, the separation becomes part of any more ambitious plan of track 
elevation than that shown. The profiles indicate that either a pronounced hump in 
the railroad elevation or .a dip in the street grade can hardly be avoided. Hence it 
seems desirable that all three crossings should be worked out together as one problem, 
even if a slight diversion of street is necessary. 

Pere Marquette Elevation, Union Station Plan 

Exhibit C-XXIII. 

As a companion profile, to the preceding Grand Trunk profile, this exhibit in- 
dicates the minimum elevation necessary for the Pere Marquette to carry out the pro- 
posed Union Station plan. North of Avon street, the existing tracks are compara- 
tively level (0.2%), but at about Fifth avenue, the existing track grade breaks sharply 
in its descent to the river. Taking advantage of this, the Pere Marquette (in the 
minimum plan), beginning at Avon street, would detour east across the flats, rising 
on a 0.5% grade, crossing the river to the station level (elevation 730). This level 
practically continues south to Kearsley street,when the line would descend to reach 
the present track grade at Second street, a total distance of 4,700 feet. This pro- 
vides for the recommended viaduct over the tracks in Second street. 

Here again, the Avon street grade separation becomes an eventual if not an im- 
mediate problem. The problem is comphcated somewhat because the present Pere 
Marquette north-bound grade line flattens out north of Fifth avenue to nearly level, 
so that to obtain a 17 foot grade separation with Avon street crossing in its present 
position, would require an approach incfine about 2,500 feet in length, i. e., well up 
into the South Buick yard at Page street. The best method seems to be to con- 
tour Avon street slightly to the south under the Pere Marquette tracks, and connect- 
ing with Fifth Ave., so as to reduce the Pere Marquette elevated construction to as 
small an amount as possible. The Fhnt River bridge required for this elevation is 
very modest in its dimensions, being only about 15 feet above the level of prevaihng 
shore line. 


Ultimate Transit Plan Showing Gar-line Reservations 

Exhibit XXIX. 

In this exhibit is outhned a transit plan designed to accommodate the progressive 
future development of FKnt in those districts which seem Ukely to become resident- 
ial or business areas. The street railway mileage is indicated far in excess of any 
reasonable requirements of the city for probably many years to come. Therefore, 
this is an ultimate plan intended to be worked to as development proceeds. 

The plan is purposely made flexible, so that expansion may take place in any 
direction along logical hnes. Thus the underlying system of radial lines or arteries 
is preserved for future expansion, while a secondary system of crosstown lines or 
laterals is developed so as to encourage direct riding between outlying districts 
without congesting downtown centers with unnecessary outbound transfer traffic. 

In general, feeder lines would be first built approximately one mile apart; later, 
intermediate lines one-half mile apart. 

An important feature is the provision of trunk lines on Clifford and Church 
streets parallel to Saginaw street and designed to relieve the main thoroughfare. It 
will also encourage expansion of business in both directions, i. e., both along and 
across Saginaw street and incidentally remove the Detroit United Railway interurban 
cars from South Saginaw street, which will undoubtedly become desirable. The 
proposed Michigan Electric interurban line enters in West Third avenue, all three 
interurban hnes joining at a common point in an electric union station for both freight 
and passengers, for which an excellent position is available in the vicinity of the base 
ball park. 

All of these hnes are worked out in collaboration with the thoroughfare plan of 
Mr. John Nolen, except that in addition a new northwest thoroughfare is recom- 
mended along the northern boundary line of the old "Smith's Reservation" and ex- 
tending from Dayton street at the city limits, to Pierson Road, Section 33. 

Note the possibihty of through routes from any given section of the city to the 
opposite section, each passing through the enlarged business district and transferring 
at the farther end of the business district to other intersecting lines. Note also the 
importance of a crosstown line such as Leith Street, having a great in- 
dustry at the center; also, Stockdale Road, reaching from the Chevrolet district 
into the northwest addition and avoiding the present detour routes downtown. In 
this plan, outlying car-line loops several blocks across, which are found in so many 
cities, are rigorously excluded, as not being flexible enough to insure the expansion 
of such a rapidly growing community as Flint. The radial system is preferred. 

A comparison of this plan with a county map will indicate that the main highway 
entrances to the city have been preserved in their entirety, except where necessary 
to correct imperfections. 

To bring about the most desirable features of this Transit Plan, a considerable 
number of city planning improvements are required, notably Chfford street and other 
bridges, and the correction of the old swamp-hole, 6th and Clifford. 



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John Nolen, Landscape Architect, Harvard Square, Cambridge, I\lass. 

Materials: Grayish >eiIow brick, granite irim. with stucco panels. Roof of mixed slates of tiles, gellow. green and blue. 
Cubical contents: [exclusive of basement story with swimming pool] 130,400 cu. ft.. @ $.15 per cu. ft , $19,550. 
Scale of elevations: Three-thirty -seconds inch equals one foot. 


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This, in brief, is the City Plan of Flint. The more it is studied the more com- 
prehensive it will appear. Its authors, and the public officials charged with its prog- 
ress, have cast their eyes ahead to the Flint of 1950. 

Picture, if you please, this city in 1950. In area it will be at least as large as 
the area indicated by the outside boundaries on the General Plan map which forms 
the frontispiece of this volume. Its population, in all probability, will exceed 200,000 
persons. It will be a city known not only for its industrial output, but also for 
its outpoiu'ing of human happiness and social content. It will be a city of schools 
and playgrounds, of parks and recreation facihties, of neighborliness and community 
centers, a city of noble architecture and spacious groupings, a city in which honest 
pleasure may follow worthy toil, and men and women live for something more than 
wages and duties. 

That is the harvest; the Nolen Plan and the Arnold Transportation Plan are 
the seed. But between seed-time and harvest there is work to be done through 
all the intervening years. The City Planning Board, under the amendment 
which brought it into existence, is well founded to endure and well fortified to push 
the good work. It is safe to assume that whatever pubhc money is spent here 
in the next thirty years will be spent in accordance with the provisions of this 
plan. Even so that is not enough; the co-operation of the pubhc is necessary and 
vital. From time to time the municipal government must go to the citizens for 
authority to bond for public improvements in fine with this schedule of operations. 

Steady, consistent, moral support of the plans by individuals and groups of 
individuals is absolutely necessary to its realization. Such support will mean, not 
alone a continuation of official efforts and municipal action, but also that property 
owners in the areas affected will be moved in increasing numbers to assist either by 
donating desired lands or by seUing at figures under current values. Ah-eady several 
public-spirited citizens have made valuable acreage gifts to the city ; and many others 
have proved their wilhngness to co-operate by accepting the judgment of the Plan- 
ning Board as vahd in matters running counter to their financial welfare. In fact, 
pubhc opinion has ahready made itself felt for the plan; and when that pubhc opinion 
has been informed more thoroughly on the subject, through the medium of this publi- 
cation and others, there is no doubt the pubhc will place behind the program of civic 
betterment an irresistible force. 

In placing the City Plan of Fhnt under the protection of the pubhc from whose 
mandate we derive our duties, the City Planning Board invokes the highest power 
affecting its destiny. The City of Fhnt shall be as the citizens will it to be, and if 
the people wiU it the City Plan is certain to come into existence through the years. 
If they give this board and the other municipal authorities their support in putting 
through the program, then nothing can stop the City of Fhnt from reahzing|the 
boons and benefits herein presented. 








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Public and Sami-Public 
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City Planner 
Cambridge Ma5.s